Now that the UK is no longer under full lockdown, various commuters and shoppers may be considering how they can safely travel to different public destinations. In order to relieve pressure on public transport during Covid-19, the UK government is investing £2 billion in a package that encourages alternative transport. This includes cycling and walking. If you are considering using a bike, you need to consider your cyclist safety measures. That way when you are commuting on the road you can avoid any traffic accidents.
It is important to remember that cyclists are some of the most vulnerable people on the road. In 2018, it has been estimated that 4,106 cyclists were seriously injured whilst travelling alongside traffic. Other vehicles, unless you are involved in a motorcycle accident, have a hard shell and a seatbelt to keep their drivers and passengers safe. Bikes have neither of these things. If a cyclist falls off their bike then it is very likely that they are going to experience serious injuries.
If you plan to commute on a bike, you should be concerned about cyclist safety. Cycling during heavy flows of traffic can be dangerous, therefore you need to know exactly how to handle the road. But don’t worry, you can learn precisely how to keep safe whilst on the roads. If you do experience an accident, Gowing Law will be here to get you the RTA compensation that you deserve.
Why do you need to consider cyclist safety when you’re on the road?
Aside from lowering the chance of being involved in a traffic accident, if we think about it from a legal perspective, you have a “duty of care” when you are on the road. Taking a risk when you are in heavy traffic could make you a “liability.” That means that if you do end up in an accident then you could potentially not be awarded compensation, if you did not take the necessary precautions to prevent an accident. In fact, your risky choices could have caused the accident in the first place.
Being aware of your surroundings, including any roads in a state of disrepair, can increase the amount of compensation you may claim. This is because you took the appropriate measures to stop the accident, however the other person (or perhaps your environment) still created a dangerous outcome. If you can prove what measures you took and still were hurt, this means that the other party involved in the accident will have to pay for your compensation. But keep in mind, these types of road traffic accident claims can become quite complicated, especially when trying to figure out who precisely was at fault for the endangerment of other vehicles on the road.
The Government’s Cycling Campaign
As mentioned previously, the government is focusing on greener travel to influence UK commuters to avoid public transport, therefore lessening the spread of Covid-19. This includes more emergency lanes for bikes, trials of rental e-scooters.
Over the next few weeks, you may see more pop-up bike lines, bus-only corridors and safer junctions to encourage new cyclists to hit the road. As Transport Secretary, Grant Schapps said:
“During this crisis, millions of people have discovered cycling…While there is no change to the ‘stay at home’ message today, when the country does get back to work we need those people to stay on their bikes and be joined by many more…We know cars will continue to remain vital for many, but as we look to the future we must build a better country with greener travel habits, cleaner air and healthier communities.”
Whilst quite a few of us are still successfully working from home, if you have gone back to work then you may want to consider taking your bike as a way to avoid public transport. That’s why it is crucial that you know about cyclist safety. The government is even considering creating a mobile phone app that can warn when public transport is busier than usual. This means you can pick and choose when to use your bike and when to use public transport.
Keep an eye on the government’s website for more updates about transport and Covid-19. That way you can understand how you can use the roads safely whilst maintaining a safe distance from other people.
Cyclist Safety in the city
If you are interested in using a bike to get around your city, one of the most important things that you need to think about are the other types of drivers on the roads. Naturally, about 80% of road users are going to be cars, but you may also see larger vehicles, public transport and even pedestrians that are trying to move from one side to the other. There is a high chance that you could collide with any one of these road-users, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on the movements of other people.
Here are the top 5 ways that you can keep safe on your bike ride around your city.
As you can see, one of the main things that ties all of these cyclist safety measures together is awareness of the road. Whilst it may be easy to go cycling in the countryside and stick to one side of the bike pathway, on the road you have more obstacles. This also includes other cyclists. Make sure to try and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and indicate appropriately to let other vehicles know exactly which pathway you are going to take on the road.
Make sure to look at the UK highway code if you want to learn about the rules of the road for cyclists.
What type of accidents can cyclists get into on the road?
Although we do not want to discourage people from using their bike instead of public transport. It is important for cyclists to know the dangers that they could face. That way they will know how to avoid them in the future. Some of the most common risks include:
- Motorists turning into T-junctions without seeing cyclists
- Roundabouts and motorists
- Parked vehicles “dooring” bicycle users
- Aggressive vehicle drivers
- Potholes and lack of traffic signs
- Filtering lanes
- Traffic lights and up-hill starts
Cyclists are very difficult to see. Therefore, cars should take extra care and give space when trying to safely move past a bicycle. However, some drivers simply do not do this. Be aware of the other vehicles on the other road and how they are acting towards you. If you feel that someone is becoming aggressive in your lane, try to move away from them safely or take an alternative route towards your destination.
For an example of what could be a successful bicycle road accident compensation case, have a look below:
As you can see, Steve was clearly not at fault for this accident. Instead, it was due to the aggression of the driver behind him. This means that they are liable and will have to pay Steve compensation for his injuries and losses. If you have had an accident, you will need to think carefully about who was at fault. That way you can figure out whether or not you have a claim.
Your Losses & Injuries
Another thing you may need to consider before making a claim is the amount you could be entitled to. This depends on the amount of losses that you made. This could include:
- A broken bike
- Broken electronic equipment
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
Initially, you may have thought that “losses” solely meant how you were hurt. But this could also include material and financial losses. Your life has been made worse because of your accident. Therefore, RTA compensation is designed to help you get through this difficult period. Write out your losses before you visit your solicitor. That way you can talk them through with a trained expert and find which are completely valid in the eyes of the law.
What should you do if you are involved in a road traffic accident on your bike?
The first thing that you need to do is not panic. Bicycle accidents can be extremely traumatic, especially if you have done your best to adhere to cyclist safety guidelines whilst on the road. If you are injured then go to hospital. If your injuries do not require urgent medical attention, you need to ask the other driver for their insurance number and take down their licence plate.
Once you have exchanged details, you need to preserve the evidence at the scene of the accident. This can be through photos, videos and witness statements. You may also want to contact the police to inform them of the accident. That way they can take down statements and compile a police report. You should be able to get a copy of this report.
Remember, the more evidence you have the more support you will have for your case. So, don’t just take witness statements, instead ask them for their contact details or ask if you can record their statements. You may also want to write down a diary entry about the details of the event. That way you have a clear record of everything that happened.
Compile this into a file that can be looked at by an RTA compensation claims lawyer. That way they can easily go through your files and make sure that you have everything that you need before you go to court.
How long do I have to make an accident claim?
You will have three years to make a claim from when the accident occurred. Make sure you get in touch with a bicycle accident compensation lawyer as quickly as possible. Recovery periods can be difficult to get through whilst handling a RTA case on your own. Worse still, if you do not claim compensation, your livelihood may be affected.
The sooner you get your compensation, the easier it will be for you to focus on getting better.
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your claim!
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we can support you through your compensation claim. Whether you are a pedestrian, a motorcyclist or any other vehicle driver, our experience can help you get the outcome that you deserve. Road traffic compensation claims can be difficult to manoeuvre on your own. That’s why you should leave all of the difficult work to Gowing Law whilst you recover.
We can offer you free advice and consultations, as well as service on a “no win, no fee basis”. That means if you work with us, and don’t get your wanted outcome, you will not need to pay any fees. That means that there is no harm in trying to claim compensation.
Read more about RTA compensation claims and cyclist safety
Our blog is always updated weekly with information about different UK laws and the biggest legal topics that may affect your daily life, such as Covid-19 & safety. Make sure to look at our blog to see if there are any additional topics that may interest you, including blogs on public traffic accidents and different types of pedestrian traffic accidents. If you have a blog topic that you want our specialists to talk about, please contact us now at email@example.com. We will update our blog as quickly as possible with information about your topic of choice.
We look forward to hearing from you soon and wish you luck with your compensation claim.