5 March 2012
New research looking at serious injuries suffered by cyclists in crashes with different vehicles has found that lorries pose the biggest threat to cyclists on Britain's roads.
In the first study of its kind, experts, including from Queen Mary, University of London, the Trauma Clinical Academic Unit at the Royal London Hospital and the London Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, analysed data for 265 cyclists brought into the Royal London Hospital by ambulance or helicopter over six years.
73% had collided with a car or a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), one in five crashes involved a HGV and these crashes were more likely to cause severe injuries to the torso, pelvis and limbs and haemorrhagic shock, where the body loses too much blood.
Cyclists hit by a car were more likely to suffer head injuries.
Dr Joanna Manson, trauma research fellow at Queen Mary, University of London and surgery registrar at Barts and The London NHS Trust, said:
"This research paints a grisly picture of the injuries sustained by cyclists who are unlucky enough to be involved in a collision.
"But it's a first step in providing evidence about the devastating impact of those most serious cycling injuries.
"Overall, increasing cycling in our cities is beneficial both to the individual and to the city but the risk of injury remains a major deterrent.
Penny Knight, Partner at law firm Leigh Day & Co and head of the firm's cycle team which represents British Cycling said:
"The recent upsurge in the popularity of cycling coupled with a rising number of deaths and injury on the UK's roads is thankfully making everyone sit up and take notice. How can we promote a sport in which we are the leading nation if the roads and vehicles are not designed for the safety of all.
"We would strongly urge all HGV's to have mirrors fitted which give them full vision when driving on the roads and encourage all planners to look again at the UK's roads and look to the continent where cycling is ingrained to see how all road users can co-exist."
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