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Common causes of cycle accidents

What are the most common reasons for bike accidents?

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents most cycling accidents happen in urban and built-up areas where most journeys by bike take place with some 80% of bike accidents taking place in daylight.  90% of accidents involving child cyclists happen during the day and the peak commuting hours are the most dangerous times of the day for cyclists.

Research carried out by the City of Westminster Council has found that vehicle drivers were to blame for 68% of collisions involving cyclists  and that 21% of all collisions between bikes and vehicles were caused by drivers failing to look properly. Other factors that can cause cycle accidents include the poor state of the road, loose debris on the road and the presence of large potholes which cannot be avoided by cyclists.

Reasons why drivers cause bike accidents

  • Drivers failing to see cyclists
  • Drivers driving carelessly, recklessly or too fast
  • Drivers failing to judge a cyclist’s speed or path
  • Drivers overtaking too close to cyclists

The most dangerous types of collisions for cyclists are those which take place at or near a road junction, T junctions are particularly dangerous for cyclists as are roundabouts.

The cycle injury team at Leigh Day has represented hundreds of cyclists who have been involved in bike accidents and the most common causes of these collisions has consistently involved unobservant drivers.  Typical types of bike accidents resulting in injured cyclists handled by Leigh Day involve:
 
  • Drivers emerging into the path of cyclists
  • Motorists turning across the path of cyclists
  • Vehicles running into the back of cyclists
  • Drivers or passengers opening doors in the path of moving cyclists
  • Sudden lane changes by drivers without seeing cyclists
  • HGVs and lorries turning left at junctions and failing to see cyclists waiting on their left-hand side
  • Drivers blocking cycle lanes causing cyclists to swerve into the path of other vehicles
  • Drivers failing to give way to cyclists at junctions and on roundabouts
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