Insurance claims involving cyclists and cars predicted to increase as lockdown ends

Published 12 June 2020

One of the UK's largest insurers, NFU Mutual, has said it expects to see an increase in the number of accidents between cyclists and vehicles as coronavirus COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Motor vehicle traffic in the UK plummeted by 70 per cent during the peak of the coronavirus lockdown, but the number of accidents between cars and cyclists between March and May fell by just three per cent. 

On average, insurance claims injury costs between a cyclist and car are at least double that of other road collision claims and more often than not, with life threatening or life changing injuries for cyclists involved.

NFU Mutual, who were recently rated as the best insurer in the UK by HonestJohn.co.uk readers, believes the number of accidents between bikes and cars will increase as lockdown restrictions are lifted further.

NFU Mutual believes this could be due to less experienced cyclists taking to the roads in lockdown and cyclists taking more risks while expecting roads to be clearer. The insurer also said drivers might be speeding or paying less attention while taking advantage of clearer roads without other vehicles, as well as being less confident on the roads since lockdown started.

The warning coincides with a report that shows many drivers are finding life on the road to be difficult after months of lockdown.

A recent study of 2000 drivers found that many car owners are struggling to get back to grips with driving, with stalling, not checking mirrors and forgetting to indicate accounting for just a few of the most mentioned errors. 

NFU Mutual told HonestJohn.co.uk that it's received 21 injury claims for collisions involving cyclists between March and May. 

In 2018, according to the Department for Transport (DfT), 99 cyclists were killed on Britain’s roads. 4106 were seriously injured and 13,345 were slightly injured.

Comments

hissingsid    on 13 June 2020

Where do you find these people?
Since HJ's departure the content of this site worsens by the day.

conman    on 13 June 2020

If the records are right and cyclists are so vulnerable why are the Government councilors and others recommend everyone cycles. A total of 17,550 killed and injured on the roads in 2018 . I'm sticking to my car it's safer.

philthunder    on 15 June 2020

If motorists are struggling to drive after just a short time off it they shouldn't be driving at all! Many motorcyclists sorn their bike over the winter and just tax them for 6 months until better weather, they don't struggle to get back to grips after a layoff. This just shows what a poor standard of driver we have on the roads these days ! Mind you some of the oiks round here don't have much road sense on a bike, but then 12- 15 year olds with no exhaust, licence, tax, or insurance don't worry too much. Then they progress to a car with a piece of pipe for an
exhaust and terrorise the neighbourhood in the early hours,
but they can still drive better than many of the licenced drivers !

   on 15 June 2020

In my observations most cyclists are arrogant young men in Lycra cycling on the weekend often up narrow winding hills obliging cars to travel at the speed of the cyclist or risk a head on collision with a car coming down hill.

Why has the public highway become a gymnasium?

zypp33 .    on 15 June 2020

Lockdown has shown that the population can embrace cycling,sadly many, sensibly, will stop as traffic increases due to the real danger of sharing the road with motor vehicles.
This country needs to construct a nationwide network of cycle lanes physically separated from motor vehicles. The benefits would be enormous, far better health,
massively reduced pollution and possibly better social interaction.
On the face of it the resultant environmental and health improvements would save millions, unlike HS2 which is so Pre-COVID.
The UK needs to reinvent itself and this would be a massive start.

newcastleman    on 16 June 2020

re massively reduced pollution.

I've never been convinced by this argument while cyclists are forced on the road(or out of choice don't use cycle lanes/dual use paths). My journey to work was 6 miles and I would say on average involved slowing down to a crawl and then speeding up to pass cyclists safely 3 times. Multiply that by number of cars on the same road and I wonder about the pollution! You even see buses having to brake and accelerate to get passed cycles in Bus Lanes. The bus pulling out causing yet more cars to slow down and accelerate.

MJJ    on 15 June 2020

I believe cyclist's should all be insured and heavier fines for riding on the pavement,so doing 20 mph. They have caused many accidents, they have no idea how vulnerable pedestrians are. They should also have identification on the bike so that can be easily caught asmany just ride off leaving the injured person on the ground. The same goes for mobility scooters.

And to zypp33 remarks some of the cyclists on the road and pavement during lockdown I home they do stay off the road when lockdown is finished. Why should vehicle owner pay for cycle lanes,.It can be tax lead by cyclists-We know that some motorists have cycles,but the majority do not

Peter Axworthy    on 16 June 2020

A prediction that does not need a great ability to work out.
Less cars on the road less collisions with peddle bikes.
Less peddle bikes on the pavement less colisions with people.
However it is Car drrivers that have to pay insurance every year to drive and have a registration plate and will be fined for ignoring a red light.
peddle pushes feel that is not important.

William Bound    on 16 June 2020

All cyclists should be wearing helmets and some sort of hi viz jacket.
A lot do not bother at all and are difficult to see in fading light. Then the poor driver gets blamed for colliding with the cyclist.
They should be insured as well with some kind of registration mark on the bike. Insurance claims work both ways ! they have damaged cars by cycling to close and scratching the vehicle, and they get away with it most times.

Barry Hopkins    on 16 June 2020

All cysclist should have a number plates, be registered, and also have fully comprehensive insurance before using our raoad.
As motorists we pay road tax, why do they not.

paul mack    on 16 June 2020

Having driven cars since 1967 and a cyclist since mid 1970’s, it’s no surprise to read the predictable comments on cyclists / motorists.

I agree 100% with many comments from ‘motorists’ regarding cyclists and their ‘irresponsible’ actions ie jumping red lights/ riding on pavements etc etc and being a pain / danger to others AND themselves.

With the exception of the pavements (although this have been known) the same comments can be and in many case are applied to motorists.

There are arrogant and selfish cyclists out there and at the same time there are arrogant and selfish motorists out there.

Government and Police need to implement the laws when broken on both parties, in the meantime both parties should concentrate on the standard of cycling and driving with more than a little give & take.

The subject will never change, however, during this awful period we are going through one would suggest there’s more to living than being a laptop critic of what, at the end of the day pales into insignificance whether you are a cyclist or a motorist or as in my case both.

gavsmit    on 17 June 2020

I went out in the car yesterday to find several groups or couples riding bicycles more than one bike abreast therefore blocking narrow roads with tight bends, swaying out or joining roads from the pavement without giving way, and generally not displaying any kind of consideration to other road users as if they were the only road users.

I think the media have had a part in this. I watch the news and other programmes and there is a disturbing influence to resort to aggressive behaviour to justify what you are doing, whether what you are doing is right or wrong.

All this 'empowerment' motivation hasn't resulted in everyone gaining enough confidence to do what's right, it's just created a nation of selfish people ready to have a fight if their selfish actions are challenged, using whatever tenuous link to a good cause there is to latch onto (i.e. saving the environment by using a bicycle).

hissingsid    on 17 June 2020

The road through a new housing estate near me was built with a cycle path separated from the road by a grass verge, yet some selfish people still insist on cycling on the road.
Why do we continue wasting money on a bunch of irresponsible freeloaders?

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