Avoiding Cycling Accidents on Hampshire's Roads
Mar 7, 2023
A recently reported survey has placed Hampshire as the second worst county in the UK for cycling accidents since 2012, with a total of 4,145. Whilst Hampshire is of course a large county by population, these statistics highlight the dangers of cycling on the county’s rural and urban roads. It is noteworthy that Hampshire had more cycling accidents reported since 2012 than each of the London Boroughs.
Looking nationally, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, in 2020 16,294 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents in the UK, including 4,356 who were killed or seriously injured. The number of fatalities in 2020 increased by 40% from the previous year, a figure which the AA described as “staggering”. As yet, we do not have the statistics for 2021 and 2022, but as the popularity of cycling as a means of both commuting and recreation continues to increase, there is concern that the number of cyclists’ lives shattered or destroyed on our roads will only rise at a similar rate.
The reasons for the fatalities and serious injuries to cyclists on UK roads are not individually released, but it is known that the greatest proportion involved collisions with cars and lorries, often at junctions, roundabouts or when overtaking on narrow roads.
The Highway Code
Changes were made to the Highway Code last year in an attempt to reduce injuries to cyclists and pedestrians. The Highway Code has created a, “hierarchy of road users”, where those that can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility. This means that drivers of vehicles have the greatest responsibility to cyclists and pedestrians but in turn cyclists are required to look out for and prioritise pedestrians in their path and at road junctions.
The Highway Code also recommends that drivers overtake cyclists with a 1.5 metre distance at less than 30mph and 2 metres when travelling in excess of 30mph, and provides an expectation that cyclists on quiet or country roads will cycle in the centre of the lane to make themselves as visible as possible.
What can cyclists do to avoid accidents?
Certainly, cyclists can help themselves by wearing a helmet, selecting fluorescent clothing, avoiding wearing headphones, giving parked vehicles a wide berth in case a car door is opened in their path, carefully planning routes to avoid narrow country roads during busy periods, adding reflectors to their bicycles, using lights in low light conditions and regularly servicing brakes and tyres.
We can help
If you have been injured in a collision either as a cyclist or vehicle driver which you do not believe was your fault, we would be pleased to advise you of your prospects of bringing a successful claim for compensation. Deborah Lewis, Head of our Personal Injury Team, would be pleased to meet with you for a free no obligation initial discussion and is able to offer No Win No Fee type funding arrangements for new claims. You can contact Deborah on 01264 325850 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return to News