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Why do distractions endanger cyclists more than drivers?

The constant assault on our attention on the road can be overwhelming, making it hard to know where to turn.

Whether it is our two-year-old throwing toys to the floor to get us to turn around, a clothing company putting semi-clad torsos on a giant billboard to sell us something or our boss sending us yet another email to remind us they are in charge, they all have one thing in common. They want our attention, and they want it now.

Yet all road users must do their best to ignore these distractions and focus on the road. The ability to switch off could mean the difference between life and death for a cyclist.

Anyone on a bike is more vulnerable than someone inside a car

Here is why distractions are more dangerous to cyclists than drivers:

  • Bikes are smaller than cars, so they are harder to spot between the sea of cars
  • Bikes and riders weigh less than a car, so they will come off worse if the two meet
  • Bikes give no structural protection to the rider in the event of a crash

If you cycle, it is crucial you avoid distractions yourself. You need to be on the defensive and alert to the many dangers around you. Put your phone away, and do not ride with headphones on.

Yet, that still may not be enough to avoid injury. A distracted driver can do you massive harm in a bicycle collision despite your best attempts to stay safe. Finding out how to hold them responsible will be crucial to cover the many medical bills you are likely to have.


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