Oh, to be seen at all when on a bike!

Motorcycle in traffic in town

New research carried out on behalf of insurance firm Direct Line confirms that 22% of cyclists and 15% of motorcyclists are not seen at all by other motorists.

Nearly a quarter of all drivers relying on Sat-Nav failed to spot two wheeled road users.

The data was compiled through specialist glasses worn by participants in order to establish where motorists' eyes are focused. The glasses were able to pinpoint the exact focus of the eye by tracking microscopic movements in the cornea. The study was carried out by Bunnyfoot, psychologists and human-computer interface experts. A sample of 100 drivers were tested in August last year in London, Sheffield and Oxford.

A spokeswoman for Direct Line car insurance, Vicky Bristow, said: "For the first time we know exactly where people focus their eyes when driving and the results are frightening. UK roads are busy and congested and as a result millions of cyclists are going unseen … Encouraging all road users to be extra vigilant will certainly improve road safety but tackling an issue of this scale really requires top-down change. Successive governments have encouraged local authorities to adopt policies to make cycling safer in the past but our research highlights that this issue is still widespread."

The biggest difference in the proportion of drivers registering the presence of cyclists was by age. Some 21 per cent of cyclists were unnoticed by those aged 50 or over, whilst 31% were unnoticed by those aged between 20 and 29 years. There could be many reasons for this, although one would have to consider whether the younger driver’s experience plays a part here.

Think once, think twice, think bike!