Cycling – it’s gaining in popularity, with the number of miles cycled in 2017 some 54% higher than in 2002. Cycling certainly has environmental and health benefits, but what are the risks?
When is it dangerous to get on your bike? And can cycling accident claims present the opportunity to make things right after an injury?
Benefits of cycling
According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), regular cycling “can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke”. The organisation also highlights cycling’s ability to “boost your mood and keep your weight under control”.
It advises that adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week, while children should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity activity every day. Cycling counts towards this recommended activity target.
In order to make cycling a regular part of your life, the NHS suggests cycling as a form of commuting. Cycling to work or school is a convenient way of including some exercise into your life. Getting out and enjoying the countryside on your bike also allows you to explore your local area – and this is always more enjoyable when that area has a cloudless sky!
As well as the health perks, cycling cuts down on pollution and the costs of travel – whether that’s in your own car or on public transport.
Risks of cycling
However, despite the benefits of cycling, there are risks associated with it. These can be caused by yourself – from falling off your bike to hitting a stationary object – but the most serious are generally the fault of someone else.
Cyclists are considered vulnerable road users – after all, they rarely have more protection than a helmet. This means that when you’re out on the roads, you’ll have to be more careful than most others. From being hit by a car on a roundabout or junction to having a car door opened in front of you, there are a range of ways you could be injured when cycling.
The most recent statistics by the UK’s Department for Transport have revealed that in 2017, cyclists accounted for 6% of all road deaths, with 101 people killed while on their bikes. Cyclists also have the third highest fatality rate per billion passenger miles, at 30.9. Meanwhile, the total casualty rate for cyclists stood at 18,321. Meanwhile, in Spain, 2015 saw 10 cyclists killed in road traffic accidents on urban roads, a significant fall from the 21 killed the previous year.
According to the Department for Transport’s research, certain times of the day are more dangerous for cyclists. They are most at risk at weekdays between 7-9am and 3-7pm, with 44% of casualties occurring at these times. This is likely linked to the fact this is when people are commuting to and from work, making the roads busier.
What to do after a cycling accident
A cycling accident can have a real impact. In addition to physical injuries, you may find yourself suffering from shock and a knock to your confidence.
If you’ve been injured in a cycling accident in the UK or on holiday abroad in the last three years, First4Lawyers could help you make a claim for compensation. This can help cover any financial losses and repairs required to help get you back on your bike.