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Stephensons Solicitors LLP Promote Safe Cycling in Wake of Recent Tragedies

Stephensons’ personal injury solicitors are calling on drivers and cyclists to take more care in the wake of a horrific few weeks for UK cycling.


United Kingdom – WEBWIRE

It’s not just about harsher sentencing. There has to be other changes too. Cycling “blackspots” have to be looked at and improved upon.

Stephensons’ personal injury solicitors are calling on drivers and cyclists to take more care in the wake of a horrific few weeks for UK cycling.

More than eight people of died in cycling accidents in the past fortnight here in the UK; with the vast majority of incidents taking place in London. The controversy surrounding Boris Johnsons cycling superhighways is at fever pitch. The groundswell of opinion is that the design of cycle areas should physical boundaries with roads, in order to account for the behaviour of road users, right or wrong.

In the meantime, the facts remain that the public can limit the growing number of fatalities by following the rules of the road and taking fewer risks, particularly when other people’s lives are at stake.

Earlier this year Stephensons Solicitors LLP published an article on the firm’s official blog which highlighted the threat posed to cyclists by heavy goods vehicles and several of the latest fatal accidents have involved trucks and lorries in collisions on London’s cycle superhighway, particularly along Whitechapel Road.

The blue paint on these roads has even been accused of contributing to the number of incidents by providing cyclists with a false sense of security and encouraging them to take greater risks. But the debate over whether road layouts account for road user’s mentality and behaviour is overshadowing the fact that both cycling and driving demographics ignore rules the rules of the road.

In following the safety tips below, motorists can do more to protect vulnerable road users and cyclists can do more to look after themselves.

For cyclists:

  1. Pay constant attention to the surrounding area and the things that other road users might do.
  2. Make eye contact with drivers. Cyclists can assess whether or not they have been seen.
  3. Wear bright clothing, even during the day, along with reflective clothing and accessories at night. Lights should also be used at night.
  4. Refrain from using headphones or a mobile phone.
  5. Never, in any circumstances, ride through a red light. Failure to stop at traffic lights could incur a fine of £50.
  6. On narrow roads, cycle centrally and avoid riding into the gutter. If the road is too narrow for vehicles to pass safely, it is advisable to ride to the centre of the lane so as not to encourage dangerous overtaking.
  7. Stay back to the rear of lorries and other heavy good vehicles and do not attempt to pass them. Due to their size they may not be able to see cyclists.
  8. When there are parked cars to the side of the road, cyclists should ride straight past them and not between them. They should remain at least the length of a full car door from the car, in case the door is opened suddenly.

 
For drivers:

  1. At traffic lights, always leave room for cyclists at the head of traffic. Drivers should not enter the Advanced Stop Line box with the light is red. A penalty of £100 and three points could be incurred if they do.
  2. Keep a safe distance from cyclists and do not attempt to overtake them if there isn’t enough room to do so.
  3. HGV drivers should always be on the lookout for cyclists and double check for passing cyclists before turning.
  4. When approaching a junction, always be mindful of cyclists passing in the opposite direction.
  5. When parked at the side of the road always check for oncoming cyclists before opening the car door.

There is greater pressure on ministers than ever before to introduce tougher penalties on motorists who cause accidents in which cyclists are killed, in order to deter dangerous driving. In turn, others are calling on cyclists to take fewer risks and more responsibility for their actions.

For Kate Sweeney, personal injury solicitor and partner at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, it isn’t just the road users that need to change; it’s the roads.

She said: “It’s not just about harsher sentencing. There has to be other changes too. Cycling “blackspots” have to be looked at and improved upon.

“Notoriously dangerous junctions need to be improved, heavy goods vehicles should be required by law to fit extra mirrors and devices to get around their “blind spots”, and people need to be more aware of the vulnerability of the cyclist on our roads.”

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a cycling accident that was not your fault call Stephensons’ personal injury team on 0333 344 4885 or visit http://www.stephensons.co.uk/site/individuals/srvaccidents/rta_claim/cycle_accident_claims/


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 Cycling Safety
 Cycling Accidents


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