Investigating the rates and impacts of near misses and related incidents among UK cyclists

Aldred, R. and Crosweller Sian 2015. Investigating the rates and impacts of near misses and related incidents among UK cyclists. Journal of Transport & Health. 2 (3), pp. 379-393. doi:10.1016/j.jth.2015.05.006

TitleInvestigating the rates and impacts of near misses and related incidents among UK cyclists
AuthorsAldred, R. and Crosweller Sian
Abstract

The paper investigates the occurrence of non-injury incidents among cyclists in the UK, seeking to (i) generate a rate that can be compared with injury rates, (ii) analyse factors affecting incident rates, and (iii) analyse factors affecting the impact of incidents on cyclists.

We collected data on non-injury cycling ‘incidents’ (near misses and other frightening and/or annoying incidents) from 1692 online diaries of cycle trip stages1 and incidents, participants having signed up in advance for a specific day. Following data cleaning and coding, a dataset was created covering 1532 diary days and 3994 records of incidents occurring within the UK. Incident rates were calculated and compared to injury risks for cyclists. Cross-tabulation and regression were used to identify factors affecting incident rates and the effect an incident has on the cyclist.

Frightening or annoying non-injury incidents, unlike slight injuries, are an everyday experience for most people cycling in the UK. For regular cyclists ‘very scary’ incidents (rated as 3 on a 0–3 scale) are on average a weekly experience, with deliberate aggression experienced monthly. Per mile, non-injury incidents were more frequent for people making shorter and slower trips. People aged over 55 were at lower risk, as were those cycling at the weekend and outside the morning peak. Incidents that involved motor vehicles, especially those involving larger vehicles, were more frightening than those that did not.

Near miss and other non-injury incidents are widespread in the UK and may have a substantial impact on cycling experience and uptake. Policy and research should initially target the most frightening types of incident, such as very close passes and incidents involving large vehicles. Further attention needs to be paid to the experiences of groups under-represented among cyclists, such as women making shorter trips.

KeywordsCyclists; Near misses; UK; Risk
JournalJournal of Transport & Health
Journal citation2 (3), pp. 379-393
ISSN2214-1405
Year2015
PublisherElsevier
Publisher's versionAldred_Crosweller_2015.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.jth.2015.05.006
Publication dates
PublishedSep 2015
LicenseCC BY 4.0

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