Research & reports

Title: Cycling Near Misses: Findings from Year One of the Near Miss Project

Organisation: The Near Miss Project
Date uploaded: 22nd March 2017
Date published/launched: March 2017

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This report found that cycling speed is the main factor affecting near miss rates.

Presenting the findings from year one of the Near Miss Project, the report finds that those who travel at an average speed of under 8mph have around three times more near misses per mile compared to those who cycle at 12mph or faster. This finding also means that women, who on average cycle more slowly, have higher near miss rates than men.

Launched last year, the Near Miss Project is the first study to calculate a per-mile near miss rate for people cycling in the UK. The research was funded by Creative Exchange and Blaze, with the project led by Westminster University.

This report outlines some key findings about cycling near misses. It sets out why near misses are important, giving results from the study that show the scale of the problem, and how it affects different groups of cyclists.

The report finds that near misses are an everyday experience for cyclists in the UK. Rates are similar for people living inside and outside London, but higher during the morning peak. Rates were lower for those on touring weekend rides, but when incidents did happen they tended to be more serious.

The vast majority of incidents fall into one of five general types: being blocked, being passed too close, another vehicle pulling in or out across a cyclist’s path, being driven at, and a near left or right hook. With the exception of blocking, these all connect to types of collision.

The study suggests that more than three-quarters of incidents could have been prevented if other road users had behaved differently. More than half of the cyclists questioned said incidents could have been prevented by improvements to the road condition, layout, or route infrastructure.

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