Often "invisible" to other road users, cyclists are extremely vulnerable in UK road accidents. The lack of protection that a bicycle offers means that any incident they are involved in is likely to result in injury.
Cycle accidents will typically involve collisions between cyclists and cars or HGVs. Plus, in Scotland's major cities, such as Edinburgh, there is also the risk of cyclists becoming caught in tram lines.
The risks cyclists face
Figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that 2015 had the lowest number of pedal cyclist fatalities on record. However, while this may sound like progress is being made, the overall number of pedal cyclists who lost their life on UK roads in 2015 – 100 cyclist fatalities – has not differed significantly since 2008. Pedal cyclist fatalities have remained within the same range in recent years, with 2015 representing the lowest end of this range. The DfT suggests this may be because 2015 saw less cyclists on the road than previous years, perhaps due to factors such as poor weather. The top end of the range occurred in 2012 when118 cyclists died in road accidents.
Sadly, the number of road users seriously injured while riding their bikes has been gradually rising. In 2015 there were 3,237 cyclists who sustained severe injuries, which, although being 5 per cent lower than the figure for 2014, is the second highest the statistic has been since 1997.
Serious injuries caused by cycle accidents include spinal injuries and head and brain injuries.
Calls for safer roads
The risk cyclists face on the roads has not gone unnoticed. When the 2012 statistics showed a sudden rise in deaths, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) issued a call for safer roads for cyclists, greater provision in cyclist training and better driver awareness. The government has also launched a THINK! cycle safety campaign.
Worryingly, RoSPA also said that approximately 11 per cent of cyclist casualties are children, with 10 to 15 year olds being the most at risk. It is therefore crucial children are educated about how to stay safe on their bikes while cycling on or near roads.
Make a claim with Thompsons
If you or a loved one has been injured after being knocked off your bike in an incident that was not your fault, you might be entitled to compensation. We understand this is likely to be a very difficult time for you, especially if your injuries are severe. That's why we'll approach your case with sympathy and sensitivity, and you can rest assured we'll be dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve. You might also be able to make a claim if the accident was partially your fault (though if the other party is able to prove you were partially liable, the compensation will be reduced.)
Contact our No Win No Fee lawyers today on 0800 0891331. Our experienced specialist solicitors will investigate matters for you and provide you with straightforward, honest advice, letting you know what your options are and the best way forward.