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Potholes can be very dangerous to road users, particularly cyclists. Figures show that they are becoming ever-present on UK roads, making them difficult to avoid if you are a regular road user.
How do potholes affect cyclists?
For cyclists, potholes can pose a more serious danger as they cannot travel over potholes as easily as people using other vehicles. Cycling over potholes can cause the cyclist to stop suddenly and be thrown over the handlebars, which can lead to serious injury.
A 2021 report surveyed over a thousand cyclists for National Pothole Day. The results showed that potholes are a real issue for cyclists:
- 21% of cyclists were involved in an accident because of a pothole
- 22% of these incidents resulted in a personal injury
- 88% said they had been forced to make a dangerous manoeuvre because of a problem with the road
- 63% had their bike damaged as a result of a pothole
Can cyclists claim compensation for a cycling injury caused by a pothole?
It is the duty of the local council or Highway Authority to make sure that road surfaces are safe for use. This means that potholes reported by members of the public should be refilled as quickly as possible.
Depending on the size of the pothole, cyclists may have a claim under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 if they had an accident caused by a poor road surface. It is important to know:
- What caused the accident?
- What made the accident dangerous?
- Did the highway authority take reasonable steps to avoid the accident?
If you are involved in a cycling accident due to poor road conditions, you will also need to gather as much evidence as you can. This includes:
- Where the pothole is
- How deep and wide the pothole is in millimetres
- What the weather was like at the time
- Photos of the pothole, ideally including a tape measure to show the measurements
- Contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident
How Novum Law can help
“With so many potholes on our roads, it’s crucial that cyclists understand the dangers and cycle as carefully as possible to reduce the risk of an injury. Stay alert by scanning the road ahead to give you enough time to safely manoeuvre around a pothole.
“If it’s too late to do so, try to avoid swerving at the last minute. Instead, stay loose on your bike and lift yourself out of the bike seat a little, taking the impact in your arms and legs.”
Novum Law’s solicitors have many years of experience helping cyclists secure cycling accident compensation. If you have been injured in a cycling accident, we may be able to help on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis. To book a free, no obligation chat with us, call 0800 884 0777, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online enquiry form.