Bicycle accident injuries tend to be severe for the cyclist. Cycling is a relatively dangerous activity, being at least 10 times more likely to end in death or serious injury per mile ridden on a cycle compared to a motor vehicle. There are in excess of 100 deaths per annum in Ireland with another 16,000 injured in cycle accidents. Fewer than 10% of road traffic accidents involve cycles however the fatality rate is more that 100 times that of a car driver. Riders of bikes are particularly vulnerable road users and a common injury in cycle accidents is a head injury, even whilst wearing a helmet. In addition, cyclists are usually not protected by heavy duty cycling jackets or other safety gear. Bicycle riders are more vulnerable than any other road user and severe physical injury due to collision with a motor vehicle is not at all uncommon. Car accident solicitors usually handle accidents involving cycles in UK. A car accident solicitor is often very experienced in hazards on the road and has the insight and knowledge to handle compensation claims for cyclists. Most car accident solicitors use the no win no fee scheme for collisions involving cycles and legal costs are only payable if the case is won and you are payed compensation. If the case is lost the car accident solicitor simply writes of time and expenses and does not bill.
Cycle accident claims continue to increase year on year. Thousands of pedal bike riders are treated in hospital every year and more children aged between 5 and 14 go to A&E as a result of a cycle accident than with any other sport.
Males are several times more likely to die in bicycle crashes than females.
Most bicycle accidents occur close to home.
Half of all deaths occur in mid afternoon or in the early evening.
Summer has the highest percentage of bicycle accident deaths.
Most head injuries can be prevented by a bicycle helmet.
Most bike riders do not wear a helmet.
The main reason for accidents to cyclists relates to car drivers failing to see bicycles, especially in poor weather, dawn, dusk or low lighting conditions. The cyclists who have blinking lights on their bike at night do better in terms of being seen by other vehicles on the road. It is safer to ride a bike on the road if there is a designated bicycle lane. Cyclists who ride two abreast or more on the road are asking for trouble. Cyclists should always wear bright colored, reflective clothing particularly when in poor lighting conditions. Apart from collisions due to drivers failing to see riders in many different circumstances, the other two common accident scenarios relate to a bicycle being hit from the rear by a negligent motor vehicle driver and a motor vehicle turning right at a junction, across the path of a cyclist who is travelling straight on.
Causes of Cycle Accidents
Almost all cycle related deaths involve collisions with motor vehicles. The other main causes of accidents include
loss of control when trying to avoid a collision with a vehicle
Defective road surfaces including potholes, protrusions, cracks or excess gravel.
Spillages or leaks of substances onto the highway.
collisions with other vehicles particularly with cars or lorries
motorist ignoring ‘give way’ sign at junction.
cyclist turning right across a busy road.
motorist emerging into path of a cyclist
motorist turning across path of cyclist.
cyclist riding into the path of a motor vehicle.
cyclist overtaking a parked vehicle.