Cycling is a safe and healthy activity and a practical way to get around. Whether you are cycling as your daily exercise or as an alternative to public transport, many people are dusting off their saddles as a result of the pandemic. We have some keen cyclists at Cartridges Law. Here are their top tips for staying safe on your bike, and what to do in the event of an accident involving cyclists.
Advice for cyclists
- Always follow the Highway Code. Failure to adhere to the Highway Code may be used as evidence in court under the Road Traffic Act to establish liability in the event of accidents involving cyclists or other road users.
- Bicycles are far safer for pedestrians and other road users than most other vehicles, but not risk-free. Don’t ride on the pavement and be aware of pedestrians as they can be very unpredictable.
- Cycle paths are often shared with pedestrians so keep an eye out for walkers, kids, dogs (and the leads they are attached to).
- When the sun sets you are required to have lights on your bike, so you can see where you are going and so that other people can see you too.
- Your bike is also legally required to have an efficient braking system.
- While there is no British law to make helmets or high visibility clothing for cyclists mandatory, the Highway Code suggests that cyclists should wear a cycle helmet “which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened.”
- Be aware of other road users. We often help people injured by car doors being opened into them, cars pulling out into their path, or turning left across them. You cannot prevent other road users driving badly, but being aware can help you to reduce your risk.
- Think about insurance and check any existing plans – you may already be covered for accidents while cycling.
What to do in the event of a road traffic accident involving cyclists:
If there is an accident and people are hurt:
● Don’t make the situation worse. Avoid standing in the road and make sure casualties are as safe and comfortable as possible.
● If there is any risk that people have injured their head, neck or back they should not be moved but they should be made visible, warm and safe.
● Call the Police and, if necessary, an ambulance.
● If other road users are involved, get their details including their name, address, phone number, registration and insurance details.
● It is always sensible to take pictures of the accident scene, any defect in the road or path, and it’s a useful way of recording any other vehicles involved.
● Make sure you have the details of anyone that witnessed the accident.
● If anyone is injured, then they may be entitled to compensation. They should talk to a specialist solicitor, who may be able to deal with their case on a “no win, no fee” basis. Remember that you have three years to make a claim but the earlier you start the better.
Chris Tagg is Head of Civil Litigation at Cartridges Law and has many years’ experience helping people after an accident. To make an enquiry, contact us using the form below or by telephone on 01392 256854.