Traffic Pressures a Major Factor in Tram Track Cycling Crashes
More than half of victims reported that traffic pressures contributed to their crash.
A new study by medical researchers in Edinburgh has given us further insight into the cause and effects of tram track related cycling injuries. The study analysed cyclists who presented to hospitals across Edinburgh and West Lothian with tram related injuries between May 2009 and April 2016.
Almost three-quarters of the crashes were the result of the cyclist’s wheel becoming caught in the tram tracks, while wheels slipping on the tracks accounted for 17% of the crashes - something that was more commonly observed in wet conditions.
Of the 151 cyclists that filled out detailed questionnaires about their crashes:
80 (53%) reported that traffic pressures contributed to their crash.
120 (80%) stated that their confidence was affected by the crash.
24 (16%) did not resume cycling after their crash.
The publication of this report comes at an interesting time for us here in Dublin where we have seen an increase in tram track related cycling crashes since the construction of the new Luas Cross City line.
Unlike the Edinburgh study, we have found it extremely difficult to compile any useful data for Dublin on the number of people injured in Luas track cycling crashes. Without accurate and consistent data it is impossible to know how bad the problem is, or what areas need the most focus.
In December, Dublin Cycling Campaign published details of some of the crashes and injuries that we have been contacted about, while the Dublin Inquirer published a report on Luas-related cycling crashes that it compiled using its Cycling Collision Tracker.
We have also repeatedly criticised the fact that most of the warning signs around the Luas tracks appear to be aimed at cyclists (like the “Cyclists Dismount” signs) while there are practically no signs warning drivers to adjust their behaviour.
The Edinburgh study suggests that driver behaviour (traffic pressure) could be a factor in more than half of tram track cycling crashes, so there are grounds for a campaign directed at drivers to slow down and give space to people on bikes.
Dublin Cycling Campaign is continuing to liaise with the National Transport Authority, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Dublin City Council to improve conditions for cyclists around the Luas tracks in the city centre as a matter of urgency. We will be providing a full update on matters related to Luas Cross City and Cycling later this week.
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