Cycling is championed as one of the healthiest and most environmentally friendly ways of getting around, with major cities recently rolling out their own versions of the Boris Bike, to encourage cycling as a form of travel. However, with London seeing a record 610,000 journeys by bicycle on a daily basis, and other towns doing their best to advocate cycling, it is important that people know how to keep themselves safe, and how to respond should they find themselves involved in an accident.
Prevention is the Key
Cyclists are infamous for bending the rules of the road, which is very dangerous and causes accidents, so the first step to avoiding injury is cycling safely. Familiarise yourself with your obligations as per the Highway Code, ensure your bike is roadworthy and take extra care in hazardous weather. Make sure you are as visible as possible both in your cycling style and in your protective clothing and lights, and that you are well-prepared for a journey by bicycle.
When Accidents Happen
Being involved in a road accident can be scary and traumatic, particularly when you collide with a vehicle much bigger and more powerful than a bicycle. Try to remain calm, and seek immediate assistance. Most of the time, any drivers involved will be panicked and assist you in any way they can, but if you happen to get caught up in a hit-and-run, call for help and make sure both police and an ambulance are immediately contacted.
Collecting evidence of the incident is crucial to ensuring you can deal with the aftermath of an accident in the most beneficial way possible. If you are too injured to do so, ask someone else to collect details and photographic evidence. Information such as the names, addresses and contact details of all involved parties, and the make, model and registration of any vehicles, are all essentials. Make sure to liaise with any attending police officers or paramedics and obtain copies of any documents they compile concerning the incident.
As soon as you are reasonably able to, seek advice from a reputable legal professional. They can examine the finer details of your accident, advise you on the best way to resolve the situation and, if they feel it is necessary, show you how to claim cycling accident compensation. The effects of a cycling accident are often long-term and extend beyond the initial pain caused, so compensation claims can be the best way to ensure you are not out of pocket because of your accident and that your recovery and rehabilitation is supported..
As affordable, healthy and convenient cycling can be, it is one of the riskier ways of getting around, so make sure to take all appropriate steps to protect your safety. In the event of an accident, it is important that you know how to proceed in your best interest.