A study from Cycleplan, a cycle insurer, investigated which behaviours really annoyed cyclists about motorists and vice versa. The study involved scanning over half a million social media posts from both drivers and cyclists venting their anger at one another. The results were quite surprising.
Cyclists most common complaints about motorists were as follows
5. Driving too close
Cycleplan found that over 20,000 people had complained about how little room is being left for them by motorists. Drivers should be treating cyclists like any other road user and giving them plenty of room and at least the braking distance. Then, when overtaking drivers are also required to leave just as much space for a cyclist as they would for a car.
4. Parking in a cycling lane/stopping in a cycling box
The fourth most common complaint from 26,533 cyclists was when drivers carelessly or lazily just ditch their car on the side of the road across a cycling lane. The main reason why this is likely to stir up cyclists is that it means they have to veer out into the middle of the active lane to get around the car which can be extremely dangerous if there is faster moving traffic approaching from behind.
3. Hit and run
Unsurprisingly one of the biggest fears for 34,532 cyclists is being involved in a hit and run accident. This isn’t mutually exclusive to cyclists though, as it is one of the worst things that could possibly happen to you while out on the roads.
2. Bad drivers
This is quite a general complaint but it includes things such as drivers not indicating before turning across the path of cyclists, drivers using their mobile phones while behind the wheel, drivers veering across the lane and so on…47,262 posted. Again, like the hit and run complaint, this isn’t anger felt exclusively by cyclists as we’re sure there are plenty of motorists out there who get rather annoyed by bad drivers too.
1. Speeding drivers
And number one on the list is speeding drivers, with over 51,000 people complaining about it online. Speed is still the number one killer on the roads today and cyclists are the most vulnerable of all road users, again it is unsurprising that this is the primary concern.
Motorists most common complaints about cyclists were as follows
5. Jumping red lights
There’s no denying that we often see cars jumping red lights out on the roads but if you find yourself driving through city centres often then you will know just how often some cyclists sail through red lights. A quick search on YouTube and you’ll find countless examples of cyclists going through on red and it’s not just the motorists who get annoyed by this, 8,480 posted comments and there are lots of videos of irate cyclists getting frustrated by the red-light runners who are giving the law-abiding pedallers a bad name.
4. Undertaking / overtaking on the wrong side of the road
One serious problem for motorists, particularly those in vehicles with limited visibility such as HGVs and vans, is cyclists who continuously chop and change which side of the traffic to pass on. 23,800 motorists were frustrated by this because it means constantly keeping track of them in their mirrors when their eyes should be on the road ahead.
3. Bad cyclists
This is another non-specific complaint. ‘Bad cycling’ can mean anything from weaving from the footpath onto the road and back again or whizzing across zebra crossings while pedestrians are on the road. 41,237 posted comments about this.
2. Wearing headphones whilst riding
Who would have seen this coming? Apparently, over 42,000 people have complained about cyclists with earphones in while riding, and come to think of it, it’s actually stupidly dangerous. Motorists do need to do more to keep an eye out for cyclists, but the cyclists also need to give themselves their best chance. Removing one of their vital sense by listening to music while cycling is certainly not helping and is surely very dangerous.
1. Not wearing high visibility gear
And top of the list of the biggest gripes for motorists is cyclists who don’t have the right visibility gear. We’ve all seen it when driving at night and suddenly the silhouette of a cyclist appears. There’s no reflective clothing and no flashing lights on the front or back of their bike. It turns out that 44,115 people have been vocal about this online and it is the number one complaint from motorists about cyclists.
It is clear from all the evidence gathered that both cyclists and motorists dislike similar things about one another. Both parties dislike when the other breaks the law and is disobedient on the roads, and both parties dislike sub-par driving and cycling standards. Perhaps this mutual understanding will bring us one step closer to ending the ongoing battle between motorists and cyclists?