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Like any road user, cyclists face serious risks of injury when they are out and about riding on our roads. However, knowing the main hazards for cyclists and cycling with caution, while staying aware of your surroundings, will reduce the risk of you being involved in a cycling accident.
Unfortunately, many cycling accidents happen at T-junctions. This is often due to drivers coming out of the junction onto the main road and crashing into cyclists riding past the junction. Sometimes drivers who are turning off the main road and across oncoming traffic fail to give way, colliding with cyclists travelling in the opposite direction.
Roundabouts are a common location for cycling accidents, particularly larger roundabouts with several exits. Serious injuries to cyclists usually happen when drivers enter the roundabout without giving way to a passing cyclist, or they exit the roundabout and fail to see the cyclist riding to the side of them.
Drivers often forget when leaving their parked vehicle to check behind them before opening their door. Cyclists are then knocked off their bikes by the car door when it unexpectedly opens into their path. It is the responsibility of drivers to check it is safe to open their door. The latest version of the Highway Code advises using the ‘Dutch Reach’ method by opening your car with the hand furthest from the door. Cyclists can help prevent accidents with parked vehicles by cycling a little more central to give more distance.
Potholes are a significant issue for cyclists on our roads and pose a big safety risk. Bikes can’t go over potholes like other vehicles, and can sometimes cause the bicycle to stop suddenly, throwing the cyclist over the handlebars. Potholes can damage wheel trims preventing the bike from working properly. A cyclist may have a claim under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 if there is a pothole or a poor road surface. The questions are:
- What caused the accident?
- What caused the accident to be dangerous?
- Did the highway authority take reasonable steps to avoid the accident?
The volume of cars and other vehicles on our roads means that cyclists often filter through lanes or overtake slow-moving traffic. This can cause serious cycling accidents when drivers fail to check their mirrors or blind spot before changing lanes and colliding with cyclists.
Anna Cole says:
“Cyclists are one of the most vulnerable road users and are therefore often the Claimant rather than the Defendant in personal injury claims.
“It is important cyclists are aware of the most common risks to their safety so that they can take the necessary precautions wherever possible. This often involves anticipating what other road users might before they do it and maintaining 100% awareness of your surroundings. It also means always wearing a helmet that conforms to current regulations and wearing clothing that is light coloured or fluorescent so that other road users can see you, particularly in poor or fading light.”
If you or a loved one has been injured in a cycling accident that wasn’t your fault, it is important to speak to a specialist personal injury solicitor who specialises in cycling accident compensation claims. This ensures you receive the best medical treatment, rehabilitation and support available, and secure maximum compensation.
Our solicitors have many years of experience helping cyclists secure cycling accident compensation. To book a free, no obligation chat with us, call 0800 884 0777, email email@example.com or complete our online enquiry form.