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Written on 13th September 2017 by Kim Milan

According to RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, there were 18,844 reported road cycling accidents in the UK in 2015.

These accidents were broken down as follows:

  Child (0 – 15) Adult All*
Killed 6 94 100
Seriously injured 272 2,933 3,239
Slightly injured 1,651 13,508 15,505
Total 1,929 16,535 18,844

*All includes casualties where age not recorded.

However, RoSPA’s report states that the numbers recorded within the statistics do not record a true picture of the number of cycle accidents that occur each year, as many incidents, even serious ones, are not reported to the police.  Furthermore, the statistics only record road related cycle injuries, meaning that the total number of UK cycling injuries is in fact a lot higher than indicated.

The report goes on to provide the following facts:

  • Almost two thirds of fatal or serious cycling injuries involve collisions at or near a road junction with T-junctions being the most commonly involved.
  • Roundabouts are statistically proven to be dangerous for cyclists.
  • The level of injury increases with the speed limit applicable to the road where the accident occurs.
  • Almost half of cycle deaths occur on rural roads.
  • Around 80% of cycling accidents occur in daylight, though most fatal accidents occur in the dark.
  • The most dangerous times for a cyclist to be on the road are 8am – 9am and 3pm – 6pm on weekdays.
  • Around three quarters of cyclists killed die from major head injuries.
  • 16% of fatal or serious accidents reported to the police do not involve another vehicle, but arise from the cyclist losing control of their bike.
  • 20% of accidents involve cyclists entering the road from the pavement unexpectedly.
  • 20% of fatalities recorded in London involve cyclists riding on the left of an HGV where the HGV turned left and collided with the cyclist.
  • 40% of adult and 45% of child cyclists who attend hospital after a cycle accident have suffered a head injury

With the above information in mind, cyclists can take the following measures to avoid accidents and limit their injuries where accidents do occur.

  • When riding at night time always ensure your bicycle is fitted with front and rear cycle lights.
  • Additional aids can also be purchased to make you more visible to other road users such as reflective clothing, reflectors and flashing lights.
  • Be extra cautious when riding during rush hour times as this is when most accidents occur.
  • Wear a well fitted, branded and safety-marked cycle helmet to limit the damage done if you hit your head during a cycle accident.
  • Wear bright and reflective clothing when cycling to make yourself more visible to other road users.
  • Be extra cautious when riding near road junctions and roundabouts as these areas have a high cycle accident rate.
  • Be cautious when riding near HGV’s and do not attempt to ride on their inside near junctions where they may suddenly turn left.
  • Do not ride straight from the pavement on to the road. Always stop your bike, check it is safe to enter the road and then manoeuvre carefully.
  • Educate young and vulnerable people on the importance of safe cycling to reduce the risk of injury.

Boyes Turner are trustees of “Cycle-Smart”, a local cycle charity in Reading and share their desire to promote cycle safety.

We have secured compensation awards and settlements for many clients who have suffered serious injuries in road traffic accidents whilst cycling. Where appropriate, we will seek funding at an early stage under the Rehabilitation Code to pay for your treatment and care or through interim payments once liability is proven, in order to aid your recovery and restore your mobility and independence. Making a claim can also help alleviate financial hardship from loss of earnings after suffering an injury in an accident.