Cycling accidents

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) around 19,000 cyclists are injured in reported road accidents every year in the UK, including around 3000 who are killed or seriously injured.

The RoSPA estimate that around 80% of cycling accidents occur in daylight which is when most cycling takes place with the most dangerous times for cycling being at peak commuting times.

In collisions involving a bicycle and another vehicle the most common contributory factor recorded by the Police is “failed to look properly” by either the driver or cyclist, especially at junctions. Other hotspots for cycle accidents are T junctions and roundabouts.

Since 2009 in Plymouth there have been more than 370 reported collisions involving bicycles – that’s one every five days and those are only the ones which are reported to the Police! The number of cycle accidents in Plymouth has, in fact, gone down since 2011.  According to research carried out by the Plymouth Herald earlier this year the number of cycle accidents in:

  • 2011 - 92
  • 2012 - 81
  • 2013 - 77

These figures may, on the face of it, seem encouraging.  However, worryingly the number of serious accidents is on the rise:

  • 2010 – 4
  • 2011 – 8
  • 2012 – 9
  • 2013 – 13

Devon & Cornwall Police have warned that it is crucial that road space is properly shared and that there is mutual respect between all road users, whichever mode of transport is used.   Drivers must ensure that they give due regard to cyclists and cyclists must observe the rules of the road and ensure they can be seen.

Safety Tips for Cyclists:

  • VISIBILITY - wear bright or fluorescent clothing in daylight or poor light, and reflective clothing at night. Always use lights after dark, in the rain or if the weather is overcast.
  • PROTECTION – wear a helmet. To be effective, the helmet must be level on the head, with the pads inside touching all the way around and the strap comfortably snug.
  • POSITION – don’t cycle too close to the kerb that way you will avoid most drain covers and roadside debris.  Drivers may think more carefully about when it is safe to pass you as well.
  • EYE CONTACT - Make eye contact with drivers and let them know you’ve seen them. This will tell you if the driver has seen you or not, which is especially helpful before you make a manoeuvre.
  • SIGNAL - Show drivers what you plan to do in plenty of time and when it’s safe to do so. Always look and signal before you start, stop or turn.
  • AVOID riding up on the inside large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen.

If you have been involved in an accident and think you may have a claim against a third party then please contact Charlotte Burt on 01752 292252 to discuss.  We can advise you whether we believe there is a claim and if so, ensure that you receive the compensation you may be entitled to.

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