Cycling deaths are on the increase

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There has however been a significant increase in recent years of road traffic collisions involving cyclists.  The Times is running a 'Cities Fit for Cycling' campaign to raise awareness of this issue.  Clearly, with the general build up of interest in cycling and the effect of London 2012 encouraging more people onto their bikes, we need to do all we can to improve the safety of cyclists, especially those who are less experienced.

Last year most of the serious accidents in London involved Heavy Goods Vehicles.  Should there not be a public enquiry? Speed limits ought to be reduced along with an improved infrastructure at junctions and more cycle lanes and paths. If we want to promote and encourage cycling, then it must be safe.

How can we make cycling safer not just in London but everywhere in the country? 

If you are a cyclist you can do the following:

-- Wear bright reflective clothing;

As a car driver and a keen cyclist I am still surprised by the number of cyclists I see wearing black.  This offers you little visibility to a car driver at any time of day of night 

-- Wear a cycle helmet;

Although the wearing of cycle helmets is not yet compulsory, there are still a huge number of cyclists not wearing helmets.  You always think it won't happen to you, but a friend of mine was recently involved in a very minor incident when she came off her bike whilst mounting a kerb and suffered concussion and has lost part of her memory.  She was not wearing her helmet; instead, it was hanging off her handlebars!

A helmet will not prevent damage to the head and brain but depending upon the speed of impact with the ground or object you collide with, it has been proven that the extent of damage can be reduced if a helmet is worn.  Professional cyclists wear a helmet them so why do most leisure cyclists ignore this risk of injury?  Is it a vanity issue?  Surely your brain is more important!

-- Be aware of your surroundings;

I urge you not to wear an mp3 player when cycling on public roads. Doing so will compromise your concentration and increase the risk ten-fold of you being involved in a collision with a motorist.  It is vitally important to hear the traffic around you and I can assure you that if you are injured and bring a claim against a motorist, evidence that you were wearing headphones at the time will do you no favours in court.

Above all, drive and cycle safer.

For further information please contact Kaye Mansbridge, a Legal Executive in our Personal Injury team, on 023 8085 7306 or at

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