As Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins calls for a law to be introduced forcing cyclists to wear helmets on the road, leading injury bicycle injury compensation experts say that this would be just distracting from the main problems on the roads.
Wiggins’ call for action comes in the wake of a tragic accident earlier this week, when a 28-year-old cyclist was hit by a London bus as they crossed a notoriously dangerous junction just outside the Olympic Park. Wiggins says that cyclists should be deterred from wearing iPods and using phones on the road and that a law should be introduced to make wearing a helmet compulsory when cycling.
However, leading bicycle injury compensation law firm Accident Advice Helpline, states that the majority of the claims they deal with each year would not have been prevented if the cyclists was wearing a helmet. They say that most bicycle accidents are caused by distracted car drivers in a rush to get to their destination, as well as sheer overcrowding on the roads in the UK.
Spokesperson for Accident Advice Helpline, David Brown, said,
“We deal with far too many bicycle injury compensation claims where the car driver was at fault. Of course this is not always the case, but in the vast majority of cases the wearing of a helmet would not have prevented the accident. We completely advocate cyclists doing what they can to protect themselves in the event of an accident, but what really needs to happen is that more measures are put in place to allow cyclists safe passage around our towns and cities.”
The law firm states that official figures in cases where bicycle injury compensation claims have been made, the party at fault is over twice as likely to be deemed to be the car driver than the cyclist.
This week’s accident has shed a spotlight on the efforts of TFL and the Olympic authorities and whether they did enough to secure the safe passage of cyclists to and from the Olympic Park. The official route to the parking area included shared use pavements and routes that cut through the middle of bus lanes and it is clear that in the case of a cyclist being hit by a large vehicle such as that which occurred this week, a helmet would have done little to prevent the fatality or help the rider at the scene of the crash.
Sceptics including the London Cycling Campaign believe that compulsory helmet wearing will only serve to discourage people from using bikes to get around, thereby increasing the number of cars on the road and redoubling the dangers for pedestrians and cyclists alike.
Accident Advice Helpline supports cyclists wearing a helmet wherever possible but also believes more can be done to improve the safe passage of bikes on the roads in the UK.
Source: BBC News
Date Published: September 16, 2012
Author: David Brown