Drivers in Yorkshire and the Humber are being urged to be 'Bike Smart' as 17 people on two wheels are killed or seriously injured in the region every week.

Analysis by Brake, the road safety charity, has found that in Yorkshire a third (33%) of all deaths and serious injuries on roads in Yorkshire and the Humber, in 2017, were bike riders (cyclists and motorcyclists).

899 bike riders were killed or seriously injured in 2017 - an average of 17 every week.

Road Safety Week 2018 is sponsored by Devitt Insurance Services and Ford, and this year urges people, particularly drivers, to be 'Bike Smart' to raise awareness about the safety of those on two wheels.

The analysis has been published at the start of the UK's biggest road safety event, Road Safety Week, coordinated by Brake.

How to be 'Bike Smart':

  • Slow down

  • Give more time to spot danger and react

  • Look properly for bikes before pulling out at junctions

  • Leave at least 150cm between cars and a bike when overtaking

  • 'Dutch reach', use the opposite hand to open a car door to help avoid 'car dooring' incidents.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, said:

Every week, 17 cyclists and motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured on a road in Yorkshire and the Humber - each a tragedy that will devastate innumerable lives. Raising awareness about the safety of those on two wheels, who face much higher risk of death and serious injury than those in cars, is absolutely vital. We support the Government's announcement of a review of the Highway Code to help keep cyclists safe and its stated focus on motorcyclists in the forthcoming road safety action plan. "Rural roads, with their high speeds, blind bends and few cycle routes, pose particular danger to those on two wheels, with the risk of a fatal rural road bike crash now at its highest since 2010. The Government's announced focus on rural road user safety is welcome and we encourage the consideration of rural road speed and bike-safe infrastructure, such as segregated cycle lanes, in its plans.

Director of campaigns at Brake, Joshua Harris

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, NPCC lead for roads policing, said:

Road Safety Week is always an important event in the police calendar and Brake's timely 'Bike Smart' theme makes this year no exception. Raising awareness of the safety of those on two wheels is absolutely crucial and we will be ensuring that forces engage with partners throughout the week to both raise awareness of the dangers and enforce the law."

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said:

In recent years progress on road safety for the most vulnerable road users has stagnated, so we welcome Brake's decision to focus on the safety of those on two wheels during road safety week. But we need road safety to be a key priority for Governments across the UK every day of the year, not just in November, and would echo Brake's call for consideration of rural speed limits and safer infrastructure for cyclists."

Head of campaigns at Cycling UK, Duncan Dollimore

Britains roads:

  • Brake's analysis has highlighted those on two wheels, who, in comparison with car drivers, are on average 34 times more likely to be killed and 63 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured, per mile travelled, on British roads.

  • Cyclists and motorcyclists account for nearly 4 in 10 of all deaths and serious injuries on British roads, a total of 9,740 in 2017, or an average of one bike death or serious injury every hour. Bike deaths also make up more than a quarter of all British road deaths, with a total of 101 cyclist deaths and 349 motorcyclist deaths in 2010.

  • Two-thirds (301) of bike deaths in 2017, an average of 25 a month, took place on rural roads - the highest number of bike deaths on Britain's rural roads for more than five years. Concerningly, the fatal crash risk facing bikes on rural roads - which accounts for miles travelled - is also at its highest since 2010.