In 2010 approximately 160 cyclists were fatally injured in the Netherlands, a quarter of all traffic fatalities. And the number of seriously injured cyclists has risen to well over 9,000 over the past years. Hospital records reveal that 60 per cent of all serious traffic injuries among cyclists are incurred in sigle cycling accidents. And half of the single cycling accidents are caused completely or in part by one or more infrastructure-related factors. Therefore Fietsberaad publication 19a - Grip op enkelvoudige ongevallen – focuses on this type of accidents, with a number of recommendations on how to tackle the causes.
Slippery conditions due to snow or black ice should be fought better, particularly on main cycling routes. In addition cyclists benefit from good information and if necessary warning signs in wintry weather. But even at other times of the year it is necessary to remove leaves and other debris from the main cycling routes and clean up sand and grit after road works.
Cyclists also have accidents by running into kerbs or ending up in the verge. The publication therefore recommends, among other things, removing kerbs along narrow bike paths or making these more conspicuous by means of a row of white bricks or by using different types of surface on either side.
Collisions with bollards or road narrows are notorious. The report advocates using bollards only where these are absolutely essential and choosing removable or if necessary flexible bollards over folding-down bollards. And introductory rumble strips are always required.
Accidents with motor vehicles
Cyclists are also often victims in accidents with motor vehicles. This subject is extensively discussed in Fietsberaad publication 19b, Grip op fietsongevallen met motorvoertuigen. These accidents can to a large degree be reduced by decreasing the number of meetings between cyclists and other traffic participants. This can be realised by gathering motorised traffic onto a coarse-meshed main road network on the one hand and implementing large residential areas on the other hand.
In addition this publication focuses on accidents with people cycling on and along priority roads or crossing such a road. In addition to stating that for safety reasons it is preferable to construct separate bike paths (at a distance of 2.00 to 5.00 metres from the road with priority) it recommends speed bumps or exit constructions for side-streets.
As regards crossing cyclists: speed-reducing measures for motor vehicles at or near intersections have positive effects. And on roads with more than two lanes traffic islands are crucial for the safety of crossing cyclists.
Publication 19b pays special attention to blind-spot accidents involving lorries, which often occur on traffic-light regulated intersections. Solutions should be sought in the conflict-free flow of motor vehicles and bicycles. Or in a head start for cyclists and pulled-back stop lines for motorists. In addition a generous distance ( (5.0 metres) between the lane and the bike path is useful. Authorities may also consider prohibiting lorries from turning right. Other measures include banning lorries at certain times or from certain roads.