In November 2013, London experienced one of the worst periods in its history for cyclists and cycling enthusiasts. In the space of two short weeks, six cyclists tragically lost their lives in separate road traffic accidents. The case highlights the dangers faced by Britain’s cyclists and the importance of proper cycling safety and awareness both by the person riding the bicycle and other road users.
Six cyclists lost their lives on London’s roads within a fortnight. The chain of accidents on the road began on the 5th of November, when hospital porter Brian Holt collided with a lorry on London’s Mile End Road. Another man lost his life shortly afterwards in a collision with a double-decker bus. All but one of the cyclist deaths in November was involved in a collision with a bus, lorry or coach. Around 1,000 cyclists staged a “die-in” protest in solidarity with those who lost their lives, calling on the Government to improve road safety in the wake of the tragic accidents. In response to the tragedies, London Metropolitan Police introduced the Operation Safeway initiative, stationing officers at the city’s major accident points during rush hour to help improve cyclist safety.
What can cyclists and motorists do in order to prevent a traffic accident?
This tragic case highlights the importance of adhering to proper road safety procedure when both cycling and driving. Cyclists should, as a matter of due course, wear all appropriate protective clothing including a suitable and fitted helmet to prevent head injuries. As a precaution, cyclists should also wear high visibility and reflective clothing in order to be easier seen by motorists. Also, they will need to always perform good observation and check over both shoulders before making any turns or merging into traffic.
Motorists should be especially aware of cyclists and should always note that cyclists are not as easily seen as other road users and motorists should always check twice before performing any maneuvers. Always give cyclists plenty of room when performing an overtaking maneuver as they are particularly exposed to the risk of crosswinds.
Remember, if you are a cyclist and you’ve been injured as the result of a collision with a vehicle within the last 3 years and it wasn’t your fault then you may be entitled to claim bicycle injury compensation. Contact Accident Advice Helpline today for more information. Our lines are open 24/7 on 0800 689 0500 and a friendly, professional adviser is waiting to take your call.