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Summer cycling: DMA Law says stay safe

By 22nd April 2015DMA LAW TEAM

Every year, as the weather improves, we see increasing numbers of cyclists on our roads. This isn’t just Lycra-clad enthusiast or racing cyclists, either, but commuters looking to get fit and take advantage of the warmer weather. Sadly, as you may expect, the rise in numbers of cyclists on the roads is matched by an increase in the numbers of accidents in which they are involved.

Figures published by the accident prevention organisation Rospa recently showed that in 2013, almost 20,000 cyclists, including almost 2,000 children, were injured on the roads. It is believed the actual number is significantly larger, because these stats only included injuries that were reported to police.

Just one child being injured on the road each year is too many, but 2,000 is staggeringly upsetting. Plus, bear in mind, these numbers were just children on bikes, and don’t include those on foot.

One interesting aspect is that the seriousness of each accident, on average, is higher in the winter – meaning that those who are knocked off their bikes in winter tend to sustain more serious injuries. However, there is no denying the sheer number of injuries rises sharply in the warmer months.

And it’s not just the physically injured party that is affected – although in crashes involving a driver and cyclist, the driver usually gets to walk away, there can be long-term psychological damage.
As expert accident and personal injury claims lawyers, our team has seen first-hand the devastating impact that serious road injuries can have on people and families.

This is a plea to all road users to look after each other. Respect each other’s commute, give each other room, stay patient. You might feel like you’re in a hurry, and that every second counts when you’re on your way to work or to pick up the children from school, but your day will be ruined altogether if you end up in an accident.

Cyclists need to do their bit, too. Obey the Highway Code, don’t be tempted to skip traffic lights or cycle in places you shouldn’t, and wear appropriate clothing and safety gear. If cycle lanes are available, make sure you use them – they have been put there to protect you.

If the worst happens, and you are injured in an accident, then rehabilitation can sometimes take longer than you might initially expect. The full extent of your injuries are unlikely to be immediately apparent, so make sure you exchange details with the other parties, and contact the police.

It may also be worth contacting a specialist personal injury lawyer – we are happy to talk over any claim with you without obligation – because recovering from your injuries and getting back on your feet is the absolute priority, and this process can frequently see you incur costs for which you should not have to pay.