Bike Fatalities Rise As Transportation Costs Soar In France

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Bike Fatalities Rise As Transportation Costs Soar In France

According to an Opinion Way study for Sofinco, transportation costs in France have increased 35% in two years.

In 2020, a minority of French people considered transportation costs a burden (45%) but now 55% see it that way. The average cost of transportation this year is €174 a month, €45 more than in 2020. For incomes greater than €3,500 per month, the figure is €241 and for incomes less than €2,000 a month, it drops to €143.

For motorized vehicles—car, motorcycle or scooter—monthly budgets have seen a significant rise of €64 for a total of €216. By comparison, French people who only use other modes of transport and do not rely on a car spend €105 per month (+€25).

As a result of rising fuel costs, two-thirds of those surveyed plan to reduce car use (65%) and 36% would like to buy an electric/hybrid vehicle.

The crisis has changed people’s habits: 44% of the French say they walk daily to get around, this is up 6 points from two years ago, and 28% say they take public transport every day (+8 points).

However, 71% of the French admit they drive a car every day to get around, with nearly one in two justifying car use as most practical (45%) while 39% say they have no other choice (+5 points). Two-thirds consider that sustainable means of transport are not compatible with their way of life (64%).

Even the 14% who rely on bikes (+3 points) are having to spend more each month—€197 on average (+€62). Opinion Way explained the increase as “possibly more regular maintenance costs due to more frequent use.”

According to the latest figures published by the Sécurité Routière (France’s road safety unit), the number of cyclists killed on the roads over the last twelve months has jumped by 29% with 242 people having died compared to the same period in 2019 (pre-Covid).

May 2022 in France was one of the deadliest months of May in the last 10 years—22 cyclists were killed versus 20 in May 2021 and six in 2019.

According to the 2021 road accident report from the National Interministerial Observatory for Road Safety “one in three cyclists kills themself, without impact with another user,” a statistic that “underlines the importance of precautionary measures, and in particular wearing a helmet” which is not compulsory for anyone over 12.

It also means that two out of three cyclists, especially in urban areas, are killed by other users. Geneviève Laferrère, president of the French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB), told AFP, “We are worried, we are in a transition phase with a rising share of users which certainly explains this figure, but a place for cyclists that, structurally, is still not respected on the roads.”

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Nancy Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.