There appeared to be something of a media backlash against cyclists earlier this year, with some motorists suggesting that the new Highway Code announced in January unfairly prioritised those who choose to cycle on the road.
However, others will argue that cyclists and pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users, so it makes sense that drivers should give them priority when turning in and out of junctions.
But why is cycling on the road so dangerous, and how can you avoid injury or cope with the fallout of you do experience an accident? Let’s find out!
Starting With the Numbers – How Dangerous is Cycling on the Road?
According to data garnered in 2019, some 16,884 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents across the length and breadth of the UK.
Of course, this trend has in part coincided with a rise in the number of cyclists out on the road, encouraging many to assume a correlation between these two factors. However, research has revealed that so-called “safety in numbers” may suggest that this isn’t the case, as it has created a more mixed and balanced road traffic environment.
In short, there are proportionately more bikes on the road at the expense of cars, potentially minimising the risk of an accident for cyclists in the process.
What are the Most Common Serious Cycling Injuries?
If you are seriously injured in a cycling accident, there are some effects that may be more likely than others.
Head and brain injuries represent a huge risk, of course, particularly in instances where you cycle on the road without a helmet. Leg injuries are also commonplace, as is damage to the face such as broken teeth and fractured jaws.
Depending on the impact of the collision and how you land, you may incur damaged shoulders or a broken collarbone, while injuries to the back and spine (which can be both complex and debilitating) may also occur.
Avoiding and Coping with Injury
In the best-case scenario, you’ll want to be proactive and avoid injuring yourself wherever possible.
So, we’d recommend performing regular checks and maintenance on your bike as a minimum requirement, in order to identify potential issues with your brakes or pedals. You should also invest in safety equipment, including a high-quality helmet, high visibility garments and protection for your arms and legs.
Once you’re on the road, you should also take the time to communicate clearly with drivers and fellow road users, using concise and relevant gestures ahead of time where possible.
In instances where you’re injured in a collision, you may incur long-term medical costs and lose out on earnings. So, you may want to consider pursuing brain injury claims and compensation packages, usually with the help of a specialist law firm.
The latter point is key, otherwise you’ll struggle to present your case (or that you weren’t at fault) or secure a viable settlement.