Cycling Accidents On The Increase


The Law Of… remaining on two wheels

The trial of a lorry driver, who had been accused of causing the death of a cyclist by careless driving, was concluded this week, with the driver being cleared of all charges.

This tragic case has once again brought the safety of cyclists on the roads under the spotlight.

Anna Thompson, a Personal Injury Solicitor and keen advocate of two-wheel travel, discusses the dangers facing Britain's army of cyclists on a daily basis.

Cycling Accident Statistics

Another cyclist killed on the UK's roads; a place where serious injuries to those who prefer their transport pedal-powered is becoming ever more common. In fact, the last set of figures published for Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain, which cover 2015, make for grim reading:

  • Cyclist fatalities – 100
  • Cyclists seriously injured – 3,239
  • Cyclists slightly injured – 15,505

The 3,239 figure for seriously injured cyclists marks a 4% rise on the recorded average between 2010 and 2014. This continues the trend of a steady increase in cycling accidents since 2004, with 2015 accounting for the second highest number of serious injuries since 1997.

It is also worrying that of all the reported casualties in 2015, 80% occurred on 30 mph roads, the purpose of which are to actively calm traffic and reduce the number of casualties.

Secondary Road Users

With the number of cyclists on the road having risen year on year since 2008, increasing by 100,000 in 2015 compared to 2012, and the forthcoming Tour de France (July 1st) sure to encourage more people to 'get on their bikes', the safety of cyclists is a real concern.

This is underlined by the instances in recent times where cyclists have been purposely targeted by motorists, with verbal abuse, physical assault and dangerous driving all putting them at risk – and these are just the reported cases.

In general there appears to be something of a misconception among certain drivers that anybody on two wheels is a secondary road user and doesn't deserve the same consideration as that accorded to fellow motorists. After all, a bike is easier to ignore – or run off the road – than a 4x4.

Despite the obvious disparity in the balance of power it can also be argued that some cyclists also demonstrate a reckless disregard, not only for other road users, but for their own safety, which stresses the need for a greater focus on education for both camps.

What Can I Do If I Have A Cycling Accident That Isn't My Fault?

If you suffer an injury while cycling as a result of somebody else's negligence or error, you may be entitled to compensation. You should seek legal advice from a law firm, like Simpson Millar, with the necessary experience in handling personal injury claims of this nature. If there are grounds for a claim, our expertise will ensure you receive the level of compensation due to you.

Anna comments:

"This was a particularly awful case and one that underlines the need for increased awareness of cyclists on the road. With the number of serious injuries rising, perhaps a more robust education of motorists – and equally irresponsible cyclists – concerning the risks to all road users is required."

"Simpson Millar's Cycling Personal Injury Claim Q&A is available to answer any further questions on claiming compensation for an accident that wasn't your fault and if you have sustained an injury, you should contact one of our specialist team on 0800 260 5010 today."

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