Cycling Accidents: The Latest Statistics

Published: 18th June 2022

Over the course of the pandemic, the UK experienced a significant increase in active travel, especially cycling.

In 2020, pedal cycles travelled 5 billion miles on roads across Great Britain, a 45.7% increase on 2019 levels, with approximately 6.2 million people participating in cycling. This increase wasn’t so short lived as in 2021, it was reported that this figure increased to 7.5 million.

As a result of this surge in cycling, it may be assumed that if the number of cyclists on the road rise, the number of cyclist casualties will also rise. In this article, we explore the key statistics and whether this is the case, as well as highlighting the most dangerous and safest cities for cycling based on recent studies.

Cycling Accidents & Injuries in 2020

According to the latest statistics, in 2020, 16,294 cycling casualties were reported in the UK. 141 of these casualties were reported to be fatal, 4,215 seriously injured and 11,938 slightly injured.

Whilst the amount of casualties in total decreased by 3.49% in 2020 compared to 2019, the amount of fatal accidents in 2020 (141) was higher than the reported figure of 100 in 2019. Further to this, the amount of serious injuries reported increased by 2.3% in 2020 from 4,121 to 4,215

As well as an increase in the amount of reported serious injuries increasing by 2.3% from 4,121 in 2019 to 4,215 in 2020.

Increasing cyclist fatalities

According to government statistics, during 2020, pedal cyclist fatalities rose by 41%, which was a significant increase compared to almost flat trends over the past 5 years, whilst pedal cyclist traffic rose by 46%.

Further to this, over the last few years, casualty rates per mile travelled have decreased each year between 2016-2020. In 2016, casualty rates per mile travelled was 5,829, which consequently decreased each year to 3,239 in 2020.

Despite this, surprisingly a study recently confirmed that more cycling leads to ‘lower levels of cycling risk’. This can be supported by almost flat trends over the last few years, even including during the surge in cycling experienced throughout the pandemic.

However, whilst the trends in accidents remained fairly flat, the number of fatal bicycle accidents in lockdown increased, which should not be overlooked, and shows that more must be done to ensure safer environments for cyclists in their local communities.

What are the most dangerous & safest cities for cycling?

In a recent study, it was found that the most dangerous city in the UK for cycling was Birmingham, followed by Newcastle in second place and Plymouth in third place.

In terms of the safest cities, Chelmsford was found to be the safest city for cycling, followed by Worcester in second place and Nottingham in third place.

How safety can be improved for cyclists

One of the key changes that can be made to improve safety for cyclists is the improvement of cycling infrastructure in towns and cities. This can be done by having more designated cycle lanes which are clearly marked to enable cyclists to feel safer when on the roads.

Having this distinct divide between cyclists and other traffic may contribute towards reducing the amount of cycling accidents.

Earlier this year, the government announced £200 million of government funding for new walking and cycling schemes across England. Within this funding, the government have confirmed this will include new segregated cycle lanes aswell as ‘high-quality spaces for cycling’.

We hope with these improvements that casualties will actively be reduced through the introduction of these new initiatives.

Staying safe whilst cycling

Be visible – If you are cycling in the dark, make sure to have front and rear lights on your bike.

Wear a cycle helmet – Wearing a helmet is extremely important and can reduce the risk of serious head injury by almost 70% and fatal head injury by 65%.

Signal – If you are planning to turn or change direction, make sure to signal clearly and in advance.

If you are planning to turn or change direction, make sure to signal clearly and in advance.

Know your surroundings – Before proceeding at a junction, make sure you look both ways and check your surroundings to ensure your path is clear of any potential hazards.

Experienced Cycling Accident Solicitors

We’ve been representing seriously injured cyclists for over 32 years, so if you choose to make your claim with us, you can rest assured that you are in good hands. Our specialist team support you through every step of the way, from start to finish and thereafter.

Here are a few examples of how we have helped our clients secure maximum compensation and the support they needed to rebuild their lives:

‘Jim’ – A cyclist’s life beyond brain injury

‘Andrew’ – Knocked off his bicycle by a car

As always, we wish everyone safe travels; however, if you or any of your family or friends are involved in an accident on the roads and require legal assistance from a Top Tier Legal 500 rated law firm, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We can be contacted on 0330 058 0377 for a free, confidential conversation with a qualified, serious injury solicitor. Alternatively, please send us your contact details to, and one of our team will be in touch. All enquiries are free and confidential.