Ninety-five per cent of respondents to a recent survey believed that more emphasis on cyclists in the driving theory test would result in less accidents and create better awareness of cyclists.
The findings came from a survey made on behalf of Cycleguard, based around the interactions of cyclists with other road users.
More than half of the 500 questioned said being pushed into tight spaces in traffic annoyed them most. The second biggest gripe was when a vehicle cut them up when turning in front of cyclists. Other causes for aggravation for cyclists included cars overtaking too fast and leaving their headlights on full beam.
“With more vehicles on the road then ever before, Britain’s roads can be an intimidating place,” said Cycleguard MD James Pickering. “Cyclists are amongst the most vulnerable group of road users and our survey indicates they are feeling physically squeezed off the roads.
“Drivers and cyclists have to share the roads and cyclists clearly feel that most other road users lack proper awareness of them and that a greater emphasis on cyclists during the early stages of drivers’ motoring careers would remedy this.”
The Cycleguard survey follows research from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), which found that four out of five cycling fatalities involved another vehicle. One of the reports author’s Dr Shaun Helman is also principal psychologist at TRL.
Dr Helman said: “Cyclists are obviously vulnerable to injury, so avoiding collisions in the first place is paramount. We need to make sure that motorists look for cyclists in the right places on the road, detect them and see their claim to road space as legitimate.
"Raising awareness among motorists is a natural first step to understanding what is a complex road-safety problem.”