HGVs deemed biggest threat to cyclists

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Lorries pose the biggest threat to cyclists on Britain’s busy roads, a new study suggests.

The first study of its kind looking at injuries suffered by cyclists in crashes with different vehicles found HGVs cause the greatest chance of death and serious injury.

The research was carried out over six years and involved all patients with serious cycling injuries brought into the Royal London Hospital by ambulance or helicopter.

Experts, including from Queen Mary, University of London, the Trauma Clinical Academic Unit at the Royal London Hospital and the London Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, analysed data for 265 cyclists.

Most (73 per cent) had collided with a car or a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), with around one in five crashes involving an HGV.

Haemorrhagic shock, where the body loses too much blood, was a key feature of crashes involving HGVs.

HGVs were also more likely to cause severe injuries to the torso, pelvis and limbs. Cyclists had a better chance of surviving if they were hit by a car but were more likely to suffer head injuries.

Overall, 11 patients (21 per cent) died after collision with an HGV compared with eight (six per cent) who hit a car.

Among those who collided with a car, 134 patients survived and 126 of those were sent home from hospital. Among those who were hit by an HGV, 41 survived but only 33 patients were discharged home.