The number of drivers who think cyclists “appear out of nowhere” has increased to 65 per cent, according to a study from the AA.
Research carried out by the AA Charitable Trust, which promotes road safety, found that two thirds of drivers think cyclists appear from nowhere, compared to just over half five years ago.
But more drivers say they look out for cyclists on the road, five years after the launch of the AA’s ‘Think Bikes’ campaign.
Director of the AA Charitable Trust, Edmund King, said: “For five years Think Bikes has been reminding drivers of the importance to do a double-take for those on two wheels.
“Our new research shows there is still some way t go in terms of ensuring everyone on the road looks out for each other.
“On the roads it should never be a case of drivers versus cyclists or motorcyclists.”
The most recent study found that 65 per cent of drivers say they are often surprised when a cyclist “appears from nowhere,” compared with 55 per cent five years ago.
Analysis also found 66 per cent of drivers think cyclists are inconsiderate, with drivers over the age of 65 most likely to believe that (69 per cent).
Young drivers were the least likely to call cyclists inconsiderate (57 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds).
But attitudes are changing, as 93 per cent of drivers said they always look out for cyclists compared with 89 per cent five years ago.
Failing to look remains the most commonly cited factor in road crashes, contributing to 39 per cent of injuries collisions in 2017.
Mr King added: “It is disappointing that two-thirds of drivers feel cyclists are inconsiderate and this shows that more needs to be done by drivers and cyclists to co-exist safely and peacefully.
“The irony is that most cyclists are drivers and many drivers are cyclists.”
The Think Bikes campaign was launched in March 2014, and encouraged drivers to put a sticker on their side mirrors to remind them to look out for people on two wheels.
It was an idea from AA patrol Tony Rich, whose friends Jack Bellis was killed in a motorcycle crash.
Mr Rich said: “I am so proud of how well the Think Bikes campaign has been received.
“Five years ago I never would have dreamt it would have had such an impact and it has been fantastic to watch the campaign grow across the world.
“The campaign helps reinforce awareness that the road is a shared space.
“Bikes and motorbikes don’t just appear out of nowhere – we need to look out for each other.”
The research was carried out by the AA and polling company Populus , with 20,788 people responding between March 12-17, 2019.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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