By their nature, bicycles are much smaller than cars and cyclists are often unstable on a bike. It is common sense that four wheels provide much greater stability and this is one of the reasons why cyclists are often the victims of accidents.
You may well have seen the advertisements on television warning drivers to ‘Think Bike’ in relation to motorbikes. However, the same happens with cyclists in that because a bicycle is so small, car drivers often do not see a bike when pulling out of junctions and can pull out into the side of or in front of a cyclist causing a collision.
Another common cause of bicycle accidents involves lorries. If a cyclist is stationary at a junction and a large lorry pulls alongside, or a cyclist drives up the inside of a large lorry, the lorry driver may not have good visibility and may not be able to see them at all. If the lorry driver pulls away quickly and turns left or right in front of the cyclist, they can literally wipe out the cyclist very often leading to serious injuries or even fatalities. Most cyclists are aware of these dangers but even the best cyclist can be caught out at times. Pulling alongside lorries at any time should be avoided whenever possible.
Another reason for cycling accident claims is a cyclist overtaking parked cars only for the driver of a parked car to open their car door into the path of the cyclist. This normally leaves the cyclist either swerving and hitting an oncoming vehicle, a vehicle from behind colliding with the cyclist or in other cases the cyclist being thrown from their bike over the top of the car door, in each case leading to potentially serious injuries.
A pedestrian walking out in front of a cyclist is another common cause for cycling accidents. Once again, this can lead to the cyclist having to swerve to avoid the pedestrian often causing them to collide with another vehicle.
The difficulty in these cases is that the claim would have to be made usually against the pedestrian who would not have insurance to cover such a claim. The claim for compensation may be covered under a household policy otherwise the claim would have to be taken against the pedestrian personally with compensation being paid by them.
Pot holes/Poor Road Conditions
If a cyclist is travelling along and sees a hole in the road, whereas a car could simply carry on over the hole, a cyclist will have to swerve to avoid being dismounted from their bicycle. After a bad winter there are often many pot holes which can catch a cyclist out. Car drivers must be more careful when following a cyclist for this reason and should always be aware that the cyclist may have to swerve to avoid such obstacles in the road.
If you are the victim of a pot hole accident the claim would be made against the Local Authority for failing to maintain the highways. Whilst these are not always straightforward claims, if it can be proved that the hole had been present in the highway for some time and the Authority had done nothing to repair it, your claim should ultimately be successful against them.
The other problem cyclist’s encounter is travelling close to the curb where all the drainage covers are situated. Once again, if a drainage cover has dropped it can be extremely serious for a cyclist and they will have to swerve to avoid it. Frequently these problems are caused by car drivers travelling too closely to the side of the cyclist and more space should be left for them.
These are just some of the common causes of cycling accidents and the reason why there are so many bicycle accident compensation claims. If you are involved in a bicycle accident you should seek specialist legal advice.
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