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Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) is a collective term usually used to describe cyclists, motor cyclists and pedestrians. This document is relevant to incidents involving all VRU types, but in particular focuses on cyclists.
Every year, cyclists are involved in collisions with other vehicles resulting in fatalities and life-changing injuries. The impact also extends to their loved ones and the consequences are felt by drivers, their families, as well as the organisations they work for, which may suffer both financial and reputational damage.
Whilst the Government is already taking steps to improve road user segregation and technological advancements are bringing the prospect of 'driverless' vehicles ever closer, a more immediate solution to the issue is proving elusive.
Collectively, VRUs account for almost 50 per cent of all deaths and 60 per cent of all seriously injured casualties. Generally, for most road user types in the UK, the number of Killed and Seriously Injured has fallen steadily over recent years. Unfortunately though, the statistics relating to cyclists, do not make such good reading, with the number killed up 10% in 2012 and the numbers seriously injured rising every year since 2004.
No doubt part of the problem stems from the increasing number of cyclists on the roads, perhaps looking to get fitter, or to save some money, but whatever the reason, it must be borne in mind that some will be relatively inexperienced riders, often returning after many years absence.
Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) account for nearly 1 in 5 of cyclist fatalities, but the dangers are noticeably more apparent in city centres, especially in London, where in recent years goods vehicles have been involved in about 60% of cyclist fatalities,
Certain manoeuvers / situations are clearly high risk (e.g. drivers turning left at a junction / cyclist on the inside) and very sadly, many of the contributory factors crop up time and again (including passing too closely, being in a hurry, and fundamentally failing to look properly).
Cyclists do of course have responsibilities of their own. At the very least, they should abide by the rules of law and heed the Highway Code, but it is extremely rare for a cyclist to come out best following a scrape with a LGV and thus a greater duty rests with the driver.
Actions / Tips:
The following guidance is primarily formulated with cyclists in mind and is aimed at LGV drivers (and Operators to incorporate into the company's VRU Policy document).
BEFORE YOU START
DURING YOUR JOURNEY
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.
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