How can we make women feel safe when cycling?
• 71% of women last year say cycling is ‘too dangerous’.
• Women used their bikes 66% less often than men in 2019.
• Leading cycle insurance provider, cycleGuard, proposes new ways to encourage women to get back on the bike.
As the nation is being told to get back on the bike, numbers suggest that more needs to be done to help women’s cycling. Ahead of this year’s Women’s Festival of Cycling, cycleGuard have proposed ways to create a safer environment for female bikers. A specialist in bike insurance, cycleGuard have been keeping the UK’s cyclists safe for over 20 years.
Alex Bennett, Head of Marketing at cycleGuard said: “Cycling can play important role in helping to drive people’s health and wellbeing off the back of the pandemic, but clearly more needs to be done to make it more inclusive for female cyclists.”
Last year over 70% of women in the UK said they felt it was too dangerous to cycle according to government statistics.
Sexual harassment from other road users and fears over appearance are also reasons for concern for women cyclists. So, how can we make cycling safer?
Create a safe cycling environment for women
Research from the ONS has shown that women are less likely to hop into the saddle than men. In 2019, female cyclists took 66% fewer trips by bike than males. Instead, women were more likely to turn to four wheels rather than two for short journeys.
In the cycling-mad Netherlands, women use their bikes 52% of the time to get from A to B. In order to create a safe environment for women’s cycling and help meet the government’s target of doubling the number of cyclists by 2025, more needs to be done to encourage women to use their bikes.
What else can be done?
1. Create protected bike lanes
Research by the University of California found that women cyclists felt safer on purpose-made cycle lanes. Another US study found that installing bike lanes increased the number of women cyclists by 276%.
2. Light up the streets
A study from Sustrans found that a third of men are fine with cycling at night, but only 23% of women feel the same when it’s dark. By lighting up roads across the UK, we can help make the streets safer for female cyclists.
3. Hold road users accountable
A 2015 report found that female cyclists were twice as likely to be harassed or the subject of a near-miss from drivers than male cyclists.
GoPro’s and helmet cameras can document near misses and catch out bad drivers. Capturing the actions of other road users can be a useful tool when making a complaint to the police or being asked to provide proof of a collision.
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