Cycling is a relatively popular way for people to travel, with statistics showing it is actually safer than driving for males aged 17 to 20, with common risky behaviour such as wearing dark clothes and failing to ride with lights only resulting in a small minority of cycling accidents.

Furthermore, in road vehicle accidents involving cyclists, police statistics analysed by the Transport Research Laboratory point towards cyclists and other road users being equally responsible for these collisions, although these figures are slightly skewed as child cyclists were responsible for the accident in over three-quarters of cases.

But when cyclists are involved in accidents, the results can be devastating. Motorists who have motor vehicle accidents are protected by their vehicles, which have been specially designed to withstand impacts at high speed. On the other hand, cyclists are not even legally obliged to wear helmets, and head injury compensation claims are common in road accidents involving bikes.

Cycling has become an increasingly common way for people to travel in the UK, and statistics relating to the safety of cyclists and the numbers of motor vehicle accidents they are involved in are a mixed bunch.

From 2010 to 2011, the amount of traffic cyclists were responsible for increased by 2.2%, while the number of deaths of cyclists on the road dropped by 4%, from 111 to 107 – a fall of questionable statistical significance. However the number of cyclists who were seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents rose by 16% to hit 3,085 over this timeframe.

On a mile-for-mile comparison, cyclists have the second-highest rate of deaths and serious injuries among all road user groups, with motorcyclists taking the top spot. Overall, in 2011, accidents involving other road users such as cars were responsible for 92% of all deaths and serious injuries t o cyclists. Despite these dangers, expensive transport costs, environmental concerns, improved infrastructure, campaigns to encourage exercise and cycling becoming more socially acceptable are seeing more and more people take to the roads on bikes.

How can we prevent cyclists from being involved in motor vehicle accidents?

The government is constantly bringing forwards initiatives to improve the safety of cyclists and to make the UK’s road network more bike-friendly. A recent government scheme will see dangerous junctions and roads being improved in order to enhance the safety of cyclists. This initiative will sees £20 million of government money and £20 million of local authority match-funding being spent on developments that are seen as likely to positively impact the safety of cyclists and prevent them being involved in motor vehicle accidents.

A total of 78 projects will take place with this investment, with developments including road layouts being simplified, road space being reallocated, the creation of bridge links and other bypasses, changes to the layout of junctions and initiatives that should lower drivers’ speeds. All these projects have been scheduled to be completed by April 2014.

This project forms part of the coalition’s £107 million investment in cycling infrastructure, with a further £600 million invested in the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The government is keen to promote cycling – Norman Baker, Transport Minister, pointed out not only is the activity healthy, it also reduces congestion on the roads. 

The THINK! Let’s look out for each other’ project has seen drivers and cyclists receive advice and information that should encourage them to look out for each other. Drivers are asked to ensure they check for cyclists when turning and that they should use their indicators so cyclists can understand their intentions.

Drivers should also ensure they give cyclists plenty of space when overtaking and ought to hold back if there is not sufficient space on the road for them to safely overtake.

On the other hand, cyclists should stay clear of the curb and should try to avoid riding in areas where they might not be seen, such as along the inside of Lorries and buses. They should also adhere to the rules in the Highway Code, observing traffic lights, road markings and road signs.

The THINK! Campaign also calls for cyclists to wear fitted helmets. This will help to minimise their likelihood of having to claim brain injury compensation following a collision with a vehicle, as it will protect their head in the event of a fall or motor vehicle accident.

Considering safety and cycling defensively is always better than contacting solicitors in Blackburn to claim head injury compensation. Cyclists can be seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents and should always be proactive and cautious when they take to the road. 

Author Bio

Mr. H. N. Smith loves travelling on his Suzuki motorcycle, but he is always acutely aware of the risks he faces while on the roads. As a result, he spends a lot of time blogging about motor vehicle accidents and motorcycle accident claims. He also likes listening to heavy metal and looking cool in black leathers.

If I may add to this article, wearing hi-visibility vests over the jacket will help drivers see cyclists, therefore, offering more protection. pb