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New technology keeping cyclists safe on our roads

As we become increasingly conscious of both our health but also the impact of vehicle emissions on our environment, the number of cyclists on our roads grows each year. According to UK government statistics, there's been a general upward trend in miles cycled per person each year from 2002 to 2021, increasing from 39 miles to 55 miles respectively. 

It is, however, an undeniable fact that cycling is more dangerous than driving, and cyclists are much more vulnerable road users than drivers or passengers in vehicles. Cyclists are naturally less protected and can be easy for other road users to miss. Road safety charity, Brake, has published figures showing that on average, 30 cyclists die in fatal collisions for every billion miles travelled, compared with just two car drivers. 

Given this, I was interested recently to see some new technology aimed at keeping cyclists safe and reducing fatality figures. 

Cycling cameras

Many times, as a driver, you will see other drivers using dashcams - perhaps you have one yourself. Did you know that this type of technology also exists for cyclists? Recently, I came across the Cycliq camera, which influenced me to write this article. There are various other similar products on the market, but this is the first one of its type that I had seen. 

Dashcams allow you to record the road and your surroundings whilst you drive (or indeed, cycle!). This assists greatly with insurance claims, particularly protecting against fraudulent claims or where there is a dispute as to the circumstances of an accident.  

Cycliq’s website plays on the psychological impact of having a dashcam. It describes that if a driver knows they are being recorded, they are less likely to take risks and drive in a way that is dangerous to a cyclist. However, if the worst does happen, then the cyclist would have recorded evidence of the circumstances. 

Radar sensors

One of the biggest dangers to cyclists is falling in the blind spot of cars or larger vehicles such as trucks, buses or vans. 

To prevent collisions as a result of cyclists simply not being seen, Continental have developed a short-range radar sensor that detects movement, direction and speed, which can be fitted into a vehicle. If a driver is about to merge lanes or turn, the radar will detect any movement and send a signal to the brakes which stops the vehicle automatically. 

Detection technology

Certain newer and high-end cars such as Teslas have the technology to show an interactive map of the road ahead on the screen in their dashboard. This clearly displays moving objects including cyclists, but also other vehicles, pedestrians and even dustbins, and adds an extra layer of safety for more vulnerable road users. 

Irwin Mitchell's work

Day to day, I work as a serious injury solicitor at Irwin Mitchell’s Southampton office, having been qualified since May. As part of my work, I speak to clients every single day who have sadly been seriously injured in a road traffic collision, many of these being cyclists. Their stories, injuries and ongoing struggles highlight the desperate need for increased road safety. 

It's very encouraging therefore to see new technologies being developed with the aim of keeping cyclists on our roads safe and reducing collisions. 

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people and families following road collisions at our dedicated road accident claims section. technology aimed at keeping cyclists safe and reducing fatality figures...”