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Roundabouts can be dangerous for cyclists. As a cyclist on a roundabout, you are less visible to other road users in larger vehicles, putting you at risk of accidents and injuries.
If you have been injured in a cycling accident on a roundabout that was not your fault, you may be able to make a cycling accident compensation claim.
Roundabouts are designed to improve traffic flow by removing stop signs and traffic lights. This helps to keep traffic moving and ease congestion. And, according to the RAC, roundabouts are also safer than junctions and crossroads, where drivers can be tempted to run red lights.
The benefits of roundabouts to motorists are obvious, but when it comes to cyclists’ safety, it isn’t quite as clear cut.
National statistics from the Department of Transport over the period 2015 to 2020 showed that 2 cyclists died and 83 were seriously injured on average per week. Cycling fatalities at roundabouts represent 5% of all fatalities and 13% of serious injuries.
Other European studies into cycling accidents on roundabouts suggest that introducing roundabouts leads to an increase in cycling collisions and injuries.
A Belgian study of 91 roundabouts showed that the introduction of new roundabouts led to a 27% increase in ‘cyclist injury collisions.’ The number of fatal or serious injury crashes involving cyclists also increased by more than 40%.
Another study in Denmark looked at more than 300 roundabouts. It found that installing roundabouts led to a 65% increase in bicycle crashes and a 40% increase in injuries.
Common accidents involving cyclists on roundabouts
Roundabouts present significant hazards to cyclists. Here are some of the most common types of accidents involving cyclists on roundabouts:
- Drivers scanning to check if it is clear for them to make a manoeuvre and doing so too quickly without seeing the cyclist
- Other road users being in the wrong lane before taking an exit from the roundabout
- General lack of care and attention from drivers using roundabouts
- Cyclists riding too close to the kerb, allowing cars to travel alongside them, effectively allowing 2 travel streams in one lane
Recent changes to The Highway Code that affect cyclists
Significant changes have recently been made to The Highway Code and these came into force in January 2022.
The changes include the introduction of a hierarchy of road users. This aims to create ‘clearer and stronger priorities’ for road users most at risk of serious collisions, such as cyclists, pedestrians, and horse riders.
Some of the important changes that affect cyclists include:
- Drivers should give way to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing
- Drivers should give priority to cyclists when travelling straight ahead
- Guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists
- Introduction of a new ‘Dutch Reach’ technique where motorists are advised to open the door of their vehicle while looking over their shoulder
How to get help with cycling injury claims
Tim Blackwell says:
“We know that roundabouts pose a higher safety risk for cyclists than for motorists and that cyclists are in a vulnerable position when navigating them.
“We’re pleased to see the new changes to The Highway Code giving more priority to the safety of cyclists, but sadly, many drivers are still unaware of these changes.
“Many cycling accidents occur as a result of careless driving, and even at a low speed, these can result in severe, life-changing injuries or fatalities.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online enquiry form.