The project “Turning maneuver accidents between automobiles and cyclists” is completed, and the results are now available to the public.
For the past two years, HFC has been investigating the causes of accidents between turning vehicles and straight driving cyclists in cooperation with the Technische Universität Berlin. Accident analyses, road observations and surveys among cyclists and motor vehicle drivers were conducted.
Here is a brief summary of some of the results:
Turning maneuvers are characterized by a disproportionate severity of the injuries sustained by cyclists. In 9 out of 10 cases, the motor vehicle driver is the sole or main cause of turning accidents. Every fifth driver did not perform the mandatory shoulder-check when turning their vehicles, even though a cyclist was present. 2 out of 3 cyclists showed a cautious driving behavior despite having the right-of-way, at least. Driving on the road without a designated bike lane (driving in “mixed traffic”) is an extremely unpopular notion for cyclists. Riding on the sidewalk and crossing via the pedestrian lanes instead of using bike lanes, however, is a particularly dangerous source of risk, as the car drivers do not expect cyclists to be there.
Of the cities selected for the study, Münster rated most favorably and was characterized by a higher consideration for and adherence to driving rules shown by motorized traffic participants, especially in well-known traffic environments.
The commissioner of this study, the Unfallforschung der Versicherer (UDV, German Insurers Accident Research), is providing further details and results, which are available here: