Cyclists 'at bigger risk on roads than jaywalkers'

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The Independent Online

Cyclists and motorbike riders are at an even higher risk of being involved in a crash with a car than pedestrians who surprise drivers by stepping out into the road, a study has suggested.

Around one in five cyclists proved "invisible" to car drivers who took part in tests, as well as 15 per cent of motorcyclists. But the drivers spotted 96 per cent of "jaywalkers" who stepped into the road.

The study also found that drivers who use satellite navigation are less likely to spot a cyclist than those who do not. Nearly a quarter of cyclists were not seen by drivers with satnavs, compared to 19 per cent of cyclists seen by drivers without satnavs.

The research, carried out for insurance firm Direct Line, asked motorists to wear special glasses that pinpoint the exact focus of the eye.

Female drivers who took part spotted even fewer cyclists than male drivers – a quarter of cyclists were unseen by women and 17 per cent were missed by men.

MPs warned yesterday that Britain was "in danger of squandering the Olympic legacy and failing to create a healthier, more active UK" by not improving road safety for cyclists.

Direct Line spokesman Vicky Bristow said: "Tackling an issue of this scale really requires top-down change."