One of the more positive effects of lockdown has been an increase in the number of people cycling in the UK. This brings with it enormous public health and environmental benefits.
Government data revealed that cycling levels increased during lockdown by up to 200% compared to pre-Covid -19 levels. To encourage the trend to continue, thus reducing reliance on public transport, the Government announced investment of £2billion in cycling, including the introduction of repair vouchers to get old bicycles back on the road and substantial investment in the cycling infrastructure – including increased numbers of cycle lanes, safer junctions, cycle and bus-only corridors and low traffic zones – in residential areas to improve road safety. The Cycle to Work Scheme enabling employees to purchase bikes over an extended period of time free of tax has also recently been extended.
Although there are arguments – based on research from Peter Lyndon Jacobson in 2003 which concluded that, with increased numbers of cyclists and walkers, safety increases as motorists adjust their behaviour in the presence of people cycling or walking – ‘safety in numbers’ – and that, as greater numbers of motorists also cycle, motorists will have greater awareness and understanding of how their driving could affect cyclists increasing safety, studies also show a logarithmic relationship between motor traffic volume and cycling injury risk. Although, statistically, cycling remains relatively safe, with Cycling UK reporting that, based on statistics from 2014 to 2018 from the English National Travel Survey, the general risk of injury of any severity whilst cycling was 0.05 per 1,000 hours of cycling, inevitably, cyclists remain vulnerable road users and, unfortunately accidents do happen. Figures from ROSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) indicate that approximately 18,500 cyclists are injured on our roads in a typical year.
If you do have the misfortune to suffer injury as a result of a cycling accident which wasn’t your fault – whether due to driver inattention, a defective bicycle, a pothole or an animal on the road – you may be able to claim compensation. Thursfields can assist and advise you, often on a “no win, no fee’’ basis, and help you to seek compensation for your injuries and resulting losses, such as damage to your bike, helmet and other accessories and any loss of earnings. Personal Injury Team Leader, Bernadette Mackie, has a wealth of experience in dealing with claims of any severity, from those involving relatively minor injuries to brain injuries, and as a keen cyclist herself, can offer a sympathetic and professional approach.
Should you have a cycling accident, there are a number of things you should do, which may assist should you decide to pursue a claim:
- Obtain details of the name, address and insurers of any motorist involved, although avoid discussing the accident with the motorist and do not accept any compensation offered by them or their insurers at an early stage as this is unlikely to be adequate.
- Record registration numbers and vehicle details and take photographs if possible of the vehicles and layout of the scene, including positions of vehicles or any defects in the road (with measurements if possible).
- Obtain details of the names and addresses of any potential witnesses.
- If you are injured, or your bike is damaged, report the accident to the Police straight away.
- Retain any footage and seek footage from dashcams of any witnesses’ vehicles if possible. Many cyclists now have cameras fitted to their bike or helmet, which can prove to be an increasingly valuable source of evidence in any claim.
- Keep damaged items and/or photographs and retain original purchase receipts where possible in addition to receipts for any ‘out of pocket’ expenses you incur.
- Seek medical treatment where appropriate.
- Seek legal advice.
Thursfields’ Personal Injury Solicitor, Bernadette Mackie, has a wealth of experience in dealing with claims of any severity, from those involving relatively minor injuries to brain injuries, and as a keen cyclist herself, can offer a sympathetic and professional approach.
Contact Bernadette on 01562 512445 or firstname.lastname@example.org