A report published this week by the U.K. Transport Research Laboratory finds that reckless or irresponsible cycling was the cause of less than 7% of car-bike crashes in the U.K. according the to coverage published in the Guardian. In 2% of crashes a rider disobeyed a stop sign or traffic light, wearing dark clothing at night was seen as a potential cause in about 2.5% of cases, and failure to use lights was mentioned 2% of the time.
Furthermore, with crashes involving adult cyclists U.K. police found the driver solely responsible in about 60%-75% of all cases, and riders solely at fault 17%-25% of the time.
According to Cycle Touring Club (a.k.a. CTC - the equivalent of the League of American Bicyclists in the U.K.) spokesman Chris Peck, "We believe this report strongly supports our view that the biggest problem for cyclists is bad driving. With that in mind we are greatly concerned that the (U.K.) government still seems fascinated with analysing and promoting cycle helmets, the value of which appears to be inconclusive. We believe that the government should now focus on tackling the causes of injury which appears to be mainly inconsiderate and dangerous driving. Reduced speed limits, stronger traffic law enforcement and cycle-friendly road design are the solutions."
For more on this see the complete coverage from the Guardian. Also check out the coverage from the U.K. online road cycling site road.cc. Finally the complete report can be downloaded for free (but requires registration) directly from the Transport Research Laboratory.