Skip navigation reveals the danger of cycle rage reveals the danger of cycle rage-

21 Nov, 2011

  • ‘Cycle rage’ grips the UK: reveals danger with new mapping tool
  • Almost 12% of drivers say cyclists should pay road tax 
  • More than one in eight cyclists have been knocked off their bike by a motorist

cycle rageCyclist and motorist rage is in the spotlight this Road Safety Week (21-27 November 2011), and both cyclists and car owners have strong feelings about how to handle it according to car insurance comparison site,

Both cyclists and motorists are turning to social media to report incidents of road related anger with identifying 2,674 tweets mentioning both ‘road rage’ and ‘cyclist’ during the first nine months of this year. In response to this emerging danger, has created an interactive map that both cyclists and drivers can use to pinpoint rage blackspots.

A survey of 1,000 motorists and 1,000 cyclists carried out by identifies what sends cyclists into a ‘two-wheel tantrum’ and turns car drivers ‘cyclo-pathic’:
72% of drivers have experienced one or more of the following incidents involving a cyclist during the last two years, broken down as follows:

  • A cyclist caused me to swerve in my car [31%]
  • A cyclist slowed down my journey and made me late [22%]
  • A cyclist caused an accident which I was involved in [5%]
  • Someone I know was involved in an accident involving a cyclist [11%]
  • A cyclist went through red lights [39%]
  • Cyclists riding on the pavement or in an area with a 'no cycling' sign [26%]

46% of drivers say that they are sometimes annoyed by cyclists being on the road and they have suggested some ways to handle them (drivers were permitted to choose more than one solution):

A quarter (25%) of these drivers - almost 12% - are keen to see cyclists pay some form of road tax, meanwhile 14% of angry drivers want to see cyclists displaying number plates on their bikes. Getting cyclists to pass a version of the driving test before they can ride on the road is a popular idea with 44% of annoyed motorists, while 43% say that they would like to see cyclists taking out a form of insurance in case they cause a collision. Catching those who cycle through red lights was seen as the top solution with 59% of car drivers saying they’d like to see cyclists caught for doing this. Almost one third of motorists (31%) feel that cycling on the pavement (which the Highway Code states is illegal) should be stopped.

Meanwhile, almost a quarter of cyclists have been beeped at or sworn at by a motorist and more than one in eight have been knocked off their bike by a motorist. Over the last 2 years cyclists had the following unpleasant experiences:

  • 13% have been knocked off their bike by a motorist
  • 24% have been sworn at or beeped at by a motorist
  • 14% say they have been run off the road by a motorist
  • 11% were hit by a car door being opened
  • 4% were CHASED by a motorist
  • Luckily for half of those interviewed they had not experienced any of those incidents

65% of cyclists told that they are feeling less safe than they did a year ago and 34% say they’ve been a victim of road rage.
Cyclists have some suggestions about ways to improve their journeys (cyclists were permitted to suggest more than one solution:

  • 28% think cycling on the pavement should be legalised
  • 58% suggest that more cycle lanes should be available in the UK
  • 25% think that more hire bikes should be available in the UK
  • 9% (almost one in ten) suggest that cyclists should be allowed to go through red lights
  • 37% would like drivers to stop driving and parking in cycle lanes

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at “Rage on the roads is a big problem for both motorists and cyclists and our research shows that both groups have much to complain about. 14% of drivers want to see license plates on bicycles making them more visible on roads. Drivers also need to be tolerant of cyclists taking a prominent position on today’s roads as 13% of cyclists have been knocked off their bike by a motorist.  Whilst both parties can point at differing solutions to help improve road safety, we urge all road users to exercise respect and courtesy as the roads are for everyone and tolerance could save people’s lives.”

Malcolm Shepherd, Chief Executive of Sustrans, the UK charity encouraging people to travel by foot, bike or public transport added its weight to the issue. “The truth is that most people use different forms of transport to get about, be it driving a car, riding a bike or being a pedestrian.

“People need to be more considerate and aware of all other users when making their journeys. Cyclists are among the most vulnerable groups of road users, so when cycling it is important to look after yourself by being visible and positioning yourself correctly on the road. Drivers need to be aware of cyclists on the road and make sure they treat those on bikes with the same consideration they would other road users.”

Have you been involved in a ‘road rage’ incident? Drivers and cyclists can report their experience here: For more on the debate, watch our video where one driver swapped his four wheels for two for a week, see how he got on


Media information press office

Notes to Editors:

1,000 cyclists and 1,000 motorists were surveyed by during October 2011 on behalf of

About is one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance. is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more.’s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. is regulated by the FSA.

For more information on Sustrans or to request interviews, please contact
Matt Hemsley, Sustrans Press Office
Tel 0117 915 0123 / Email:
Sustrans is the charity that’s enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day. Our work makes it possible for people to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys, with better places and spaces to move through and live in.  It’s time we all began making smarter travel choices. Make your move and support Sustrans today.

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