65% of UK drivers say aggressive cyclists threaten their safety

Almost two-thirds of drivers (65%) in Britain believe aggressive cyclists and motorists are putting lives at risk. Of over 2 000 drivers surveyed, the majority of respondents claimed that both aggressive motorists (78%) and aggressive cyclists (65%) are a threat to their personal safety. That is the conclusion of a recent survey commissioned by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart.

The survey also revealed that the problem is seen to be worsening on both sides of the rivalry, with six-in-ten (60%) of those surveyed believing that aggressive cyclists are a bigger problem compared to three years ago.

And 63% believe that aggressive motorists have become more of an issue over the same time period. A similar proportion (61%) would not support a law assuming drivers are always responsible for collisions with cyclists or pedestrians in urban areas.

‘Daily conflicts’

IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research Neil Greig: “The government has introduced a range of laws in recent years in an effort to fix the daily conflicts we see between motorists and cyclists. However, our research indicates that this has largely been to no avail, with most respondents still reporting aggression and conflicts among road users.”

“There is no quick fix to this issue, but the government needs to maintain its education campaigns on the new traffic regulations and continue to invest in safe road markings for more vulnerable road users to minimize the chance of conflict wherever possible. In the meantime, all road users, whether on two or four wheels, should exercise calmness and restraint to help us all use Britain’s roads safely.”

Hierarchy in traffic

Traffic regulations changed last year to emphasize the additional responsibility of those in charge of a larger vehicle because they are more likely to cause harm if there is a collision.

The amendments included the creation of a hierarchy of road users based on vulnerability. It means someone driving a car has more responsibility to watch out for cyclists, pedestrians, or someone riding a horse.

Another change involved motorists being told they should leave at least 1,5 meters when overtaking cyclists at up to 48 kilometers per hour and leave more space at higher speeds. The survey for IAM RoadSmart was conducted by research company Cint in December 2022. About 2 000 British motorists participated in the poll.


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