Will The UK Cycling Boom Lead To More Personal Injury Claims?
In 2019, cycling was on the wane. After an enormous boost in the popularity of cycling following successful showings in the 2012 Olympics, and years of growth for cycling, things were really slowing down and fewer people were using cycles; it had seemed like perhaps the trend had peaked. But the two-wheeled form of transport has had something of an unlikely ally in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While coronavirus, lockdown and the unprecedented changes to life have come with challenges, it does seem to have allowed some to re-think priorities and examine how they live. Less need for cars, the need for solo exercise and looking for opportunities to get out in the fresh air are just some of the potential reasons why cycling has once again become popular.
Indeed, shops are struggling to keep up with the demand for bikes and there has been a surge in people getting back on their bikes to take up cycling again. This could potentially have many benefits, but it is also worth considering whether more bikes being used could lead to a rise in personal injury claims.
Claiming for personal injury cycling accidents
Cycling accidents can cause significant injuries, with whiplash and soft tissues injuries being very common, as well as more serious but thankfully less frequent broken bones or spinal injuries and head injuries also occurring.
It would stand to reason that a greater number of people cycling on the roads could lead to more accidents occurring, and this would push up the volume of cycling accidents. But it may not be quite that simple.
More bikes, fewer cars
While it may currently be the case that there are more bikes on the road, there are also fewer cars. Government guidelines can change frequently, but current advice suggests that people should work from home where possible which has led to a reduction in the number of cars currently using the roads across the country.
Unfortunately, it is the case that it is vehicles that pose the greatest risk to cyclists. But having fewer cars competing for road space with cyclists could indicate that there will be a lower incidence of cyclists getting injured.
Changing rules on the road
Interestingly there has recently been suggestion of some changes regarding road rules, ostensibly to offer greater protection for cyclists against motor vehicles. The idea is to give priority to cyclists and other vulnerable road users over motor vehicles at junctions with traffic lights.
This could have the potential to drastically reduce the number of cycling-related personal injuries on the road.
More government regulation is required
This may be a step in the right direction, especially from the perspective of protecting cyclists against personal injuries – but the truth is that government regulation may need to go further in order to protect cyclists.
There can be no doubt that more people are going to be cycling than ever before, and if this coincides with roads becoming busier due to government advice surrounding work and travel being relaxed, it could lead to a significant rise in the number of personal injury cases.
At George Ide, we have a long history of representing cyclists in personal injury cases. Of course, we would prefer to never again see a cyclist injured on the roads, but unfortunately, it does seem like the potential is there for the problem to get worse before it gets better.
If you have suffered any kind of personal injury while cycling that was caused by the negligence of someone else, please get in contact with us todayPersonal Injury Blog