Bicycle Accidents On The Increase... But Why?
Around 15% of adults cycled at least once a month between 2012 and 2013, according to statistics from the Department for Transport. With the increased amount of people cycling on the roads every day, more and more accidents are occurring
. But what are the causes of these accidents, and what can you do if you've been a victim?
Urban Areas see a Rise in Cycle Accidents
The number of cyclists who are injured in urban areas is on the increase. In Leeds alone, the number of accidents involving cyclists
has increased in the last 10 years according to Leeds City Council. A total of 329 cyclists were injured in accidents in 2013
in Leeds but the Council are hoping that by implementing the City Connect cycle superhighway between Leeds and Bradford they are setting an example of "good practice". Approximately 40% of cyclists, according to a survey conducted by Halfords, want to see dedicated cycle lanes on all of Britain's roads to prevent cyclists and car drivers from colliding with each other. Royal College Street in Camden North London already have a segregated cycle lane which has been hailed as a success by all those who use it.
Urban areas are also plagued by another nuisance disliked by pedestrians and drivers alike, potholes. The national cycling charity, the Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC)
have been reporting on potholes and cyclists and the number of deaths they have caused. Their "Fill That Hole" website received £30,000 from the Department for Transport to allow improvements to be made and to develop an app compatible with both iPhones and Android software. Robert Goodwill MP, cycling and roads minister, said that pot holes were at best an "irritation" but "at worst, pose a serious danger to cyclists."
Popularity of Cycling on the Increase
Department for Transport statistics also showed that between January and March this year, there has been a 27% increase year on year in the amount of cyclists that are being killed or being seriously injured
. Motor insurance companies in particular have seen a rise in the number of accident claims that involve cyclists over the past 12 months. They cite a number of reasons for this including:
- The success of the 2012 Olympics with both men and women's teams scooping up gold medals
- Triumph at the Tour de France
- Commuter costs rising annually meaning cyclists are taking to the road at peak times
The survey conducted by Datamonitor Financial also showed that the number of claims in London soared, with the Boris bike scheme being at the centre of the storm. Users can hire a bike, ride it wherever they like within London and return it to any docking station for a fee.
Most Accidents Go Unreported
Worryingly, an estimated 90% of cycling accidents go unreported
to the police with some people not even realising they have sustained an injury until hours after the accident. According to RoSPA, the most common cycling accidents include motorists emerging into the path of a cyclist, motorists turning across a cyclist's path and cyclists riding off the pavement into the path of a vehicle.
Common are injuries to the arms and legs, with chest or abdomen injuries occurring less frequently. Head injuries to cyclists are very common and are often far more serious.