Cycle Accidents and Road Saftey

January 29, 2024

Pedal Cycle Accidents in the UK

Navigating the road to safety in the UK is an important factor when taking to the road with a pedal bike.  Most of us started out as a child, with parent, learning to ride a bike with stabilisers, helmet and elbow and knee pads.  From that first journey gave us a right of passage to a self kind of gratitude of achievement when riding a cycle bike for the first time without any aid to eventually independence in our later years.

But on UK roads the rise in cycling in the UK, while beneficial for health and environment, has seen an increase in cycle-related accidents. These incidents often raise concerns about safety and coexistence on the road.

The UK is focusing on infrastructure improvements like dedicated cycle lanes and traffic-calming measures to enhance cycle safety. There is a more joined up thinking on education and awareness of dangers for the experienced and inexperienced riders together with technological innovations like smart helmets and high-visibility clothing that are playing a role in enhancing cycle safety.


Compensation for Bicycle Accident Claims

The education campaigns aim to increase awareness among both cyclists and motorists about safe road-sharing practices. Indeed there has been an upscale of the Highway Code governing all vulnerable road users and in particular cyclists and pedestrians.

The Highway Code opens with Rule 211

Rule 211

It is often difficult to see motorcyclists and cyclists, especially when they are waiting alongside you, coming up from behind, coming out of or moving off from junctions, at roundabouts, overtaking you or filtering through traffic. Always look out for them before you emerge from a junction; they could be approaching faster than you think.

Do not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist going straight ahead to stop or swerve, just as you would do with a motor vehicle.

When turning right across a line of slow-moving or stationary traffic, look out for and give way to cyclists or motorcyclists on the inside of the traffic you are crossing. Be especially careful when moving off, turning, and when changing direction or lane. Be sure to check mirrors and blind spots carefully.

The Growing Concern of Cycle Accidents

Annually, thousands of cyclists face accidents, many leading to severe injuries or fatalities, especially in urban areas. For in-depth insights on cyclist rights and compensation, we at R. James Hutcheon Solicitors offer expert advice on on our cycle biking webpage entitled bicycle accident claims, knocked off your bike by a car compensation.

Most behaviour incident caused accidents, by this we mean a motorist or HGV driver negligently driving their vehicle causing an accident are simply due to a failure to keep a proper lookout to vulnerable road users. A typical scenario is depicted below where a motorist turns right into a junction in front of an on-coming cyclist.


In 2022, there was a notable decrease in pedal cyclist fatalities and overall traffic in Great Britain. Specifically, 91 cyclists tragically lost their lives, a decrease of 18% compared to previous years. Serious injuries also remained a concern, with 4,056 cyclists seriously injured, alongside 11,546 suffering minor injuries.

Interestingly, while the number of cyclists on the road has increased since 2004, serious injuries haven’t risen at the same pace, and slight injuries have actually declined.

There was a general downward trend in cyclist casualties from 2014 to 2020, followed by a slight increase in the subsequent years, source of the cycle accident statistics are from the Government Reported road casualties in Great Britain: pedal cycle factsheet, 2022.

Most dangerous time of day for cycle accidents

In the same Government report on cyclist accidents in the UK the cycle statists show a distinct patterns based on the time of day and week. During weekdays, most accidents involving serious or slight injuries (KSIs) occur in the early mornings (7-10 AM) and late afternoons (4-7 PM). However, weekends see a shift in this trend. On Saturdays and Sundays, there’s a peak in accidents around mid-morning (10 AM – 12 noon), which then gradually decreases throughout the afternoon and evening.

It is also recorded that the majority (58%) of cycling fatalities occur away from junctions, while a smaller percentage (33%) of serious injuries happen in these non-junction locations. In contrast, junctions are the site for 27% of fatalities and a higher proportion (41%) of serious injuries. At roundabouts, 4% of cycling fatalities and 13% of serious injuries occur.

Interesting the type of road is also evaluated, so between the years 2018 to 2022, over half (56%) of cyclist fatalities in the UK occurred on rural roads, a contrast to the 30% that happened in areas with more traffic. Interestingly, the rate of non-fatal cycling accidents on rural roads was lower than in heavier traffic areas.


Understanding the Causes of pedal bike accidents

Factors contributing to accidents include inadequate infrastructure such as pot holes, raised grids, oil or diesel spillages and unsafe road users, in particular motorist and lorry drivers.

Incidents like ‘dooring‘ that is a motorist whilst parked opens the door in the path way of an oncoming cyclist where the rider has no chance to avoid the open door and collided with it or takes evasive action to avoid hitting the door but results in losing control of the bike that causes injury and damage to the bike.

Many cycle accidents that involve motorist or lorry drivers are related to their negligent manoeuvres and failing to take a proper look out for vulnerable cyclists.  Many accident examples can be found on our webpage, entitled The Most Common Bicycle Accidents.

Please be aware that many of the accident sketches that provide examples of the most common cycle accident depict a motorbike but they are applicable to all vulnerable road users such as pedal bike riders, E-bike riders and and E- Scooter riders. 

The same aspects are applicable to sue the motorist or lorry drivers where they simple pull out of side roads without seeing the cyclist or change range when the cyclist is in their blind spot.

Cyclist Right to Claim Compensation

Navigating the aftermath of an accident involves understanding cyclists’ legal rights. Specialised solicitors are crucial in these scenarios, providing guidance through the legal system. For more information on cyclists’ rights and compensation, please read further on this article or visit our cyclist webpage Knocked Off Bike by car Compensation

As expert bicycle accident Solicitors we have decades of experience in helping cyclists navigate the legal complexities, considering factors like liability and contributory negligence, ensuring fair treatment and appropriate compensation for the injuries sustained.  We often succeed where others may fail or give up.  We have many clients change their solicitors to come to us for that very reason, our experience to succeed.

Coping with the Aftermath of a Cycle Accident

Post-accident actions are crucial for safety and evidence collection. Seeking medical attention and reporting the incident are essential.  If possible a positive eye witness account can mean the difference between wining or losing a cycle compensation claim.

Obviously this information can only be gathered if the cyclist is not seriously injured.  If there are serious injuries the emergency services will no doubt be called and the police who will try to obtain witness evidence and CCTV evidence of the accident.

Measurements of any tyre skid marks, debris, road surface imperfections will also be accounted for and a specialist accident investigation team may be required to report on the cause of the accident.

If the motorist or HGV driver is at a fault they may face criminal prosecution.  In cases where there are fatalities the Crown Prosecution  Service may charge the driver with death by dangerous driving or death by careless driving.

The Road to Cycling Compensation

Legal advice is vital post-accident, encompassing compensation for injuries, trauma, and loss of earnings.  If injured and following a the recovery process you should then contact us. 

If you are not up to it, alternatively your cycle accident Solicitors may be able to take the initial instructions confirmed by you, from family members or a family friend in order to secure valuable evidence whilst you are recovering.  Early state investigation may prove invaluable to winning or losing a case later in court if there is a denial of blame for the bike accident.

Once you are physically and mentally strong enough to provide instructions we shall then proceed directly as a partnership to bring a claim for negligence against the driver that has caused you injury.

Guide to Motorcycle Compensation

Our professional solicitors specialise in motorcycle accident compensation claims that includes pedal bike and E-Scooters. We support cyclists in recovery, helping them rehabilitate and recover from their physical and emotional injuries.

The pages below will provide you with more from how much cycle accident compensation you can obtain from your injuries to how to make a claim. We have also provided several case study examples of other cyclists who received damages following their accidents.  Please be aware that reference to motorbike rider accident compensation amounts will be the same as cyclist riders and E-Scooter riders.

Motorcycle Solicitors Contact Page