Why do women fear riding a bike?

Why do women fear riding a bike?

An English study highlights the specific challenges that women cyclists face on a daily basis. An overwhelming majority fear accidents and suffer verbal violence, most of the time sexist.

A study by the London Cycling Campaign* reveals the difficulties encountered by women who choose cycling as a mode of travel in the English capital.

Their first fear is colliding with other road users. This is why an overwhelming majority of women surveyed (88%) favor protected cycle paths and low-traffic roads where they feel safer than on busy main roads.

This study also reveals that women are regularly victims of intimidation and even verbal harassment. 93% of them have already been intimidated by drivers using their vehicles in a threatening manner. Verbal harassment, often sexist, is particularly burdensome. For two thirds of respondents (64%), this type of attack is repeated at least once a month.

Ultimately, more than 20% of women have already stopped cycling, temporarily or permanently, because of the aggressiveness of drivers. Note that the absence of safe and lit roads, particularly at night, sometimes forces women to take routes considered dangerous. This is why a third of them avoid cycling after dark or in winter.

Among the solutions put forward, there is the need to put in place safer infrastructure, to strengthen the confidence of women on bicycles, especially those traveling with children. Effective monitoring of reports of abuse against women on public roads should also be put in place. These recommendations, intended to create a safer and more welcoming environment for women cyclists, are in fact universal.

*This survey was conducted in July 2023 among 1,043 women and non-binary individuals.