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Cyclist accidents highlights road safety concerns

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After a hard day at work, there is always an urge to get home as quickly as possible so we can put our feet up. It is something we are all guilty of, particularly as the evenings get colder and the nights longer. With this in mind, it is also important to remember that potentially fatal motoring accidents can be avoided through the use of a little common sense on the road.

Today I heard about a cyclist in the Cambridge area, who evaded serious injury, possibly even death, after he struck a car who had failed to give way to traffic on a roundabout. 60 year old Chris Sendall described how he was “very bruised and sore” following his run in with the vehicle, but this incident could have ended considerably worse. Thankfully, Mr Sendall’s injuries were minimal because his helmet took the force of the impact when he was knocked to the road from his cycle.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents recently published figures showing that 17,000 cyclists are injured on the road each year. Of these 17,000 incidents, over 2,500 cyclists suffered serious injury and over 100 of these accidents resulted in fatalities. This data only relates to incidents reported to the police and the actual figures could be considerably higher.

These figures come following concerns raised earlier in the year by Robert Gifford, the Executive Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Transport Safety. Mr Gifford noted that there was a “worrying trend” in the increase of deaths and serious injuries to cyclists, advising that the total number of cyclists killed or seriously injured each year has risen 10% since the end of September 2007.

Accidents such as Mr Sendall’s above highlight the importance of road safety, be it through the use of protective equipment or just taking greater consideration for other road users. I would urge fellow motorists to take that little extra caution when travelling this winter; it could save lives.

By road traffic accident graduate paralegal, Matthew Dootson