Being on the roads is a dangerous pastime whatever your mode of transport, but being on a bicycle or a horse puts you at greater risk than being in a car. Road traffic accidents can cause horrific and even fatal injuries, but the modern car offers many safety features and are designed to keep you as safe as possible.
On a horse or a bike, you are exposed not only to the elements but also to the behaviour of other road users, many of whom fail to give you right consideration. Many people are making a compensation claim throughout the UK following accidents on bikes or involving horses. Making sure that you understand your rights is essential.
Understand your rights
The Highway Code is a good place to start when studying what rights you have on the road. The police deem that a cyclist or horse rider have as much right to be on the road as any other road user and they should be given the same courtesy. In fact, an ancient bye law exists that gives horses the right of way on a highway, which has never been repealed.
They also have the right to use verges and green areas to enable them to stay clear of the hazards of the road. Many road users are sadly not aware of this and see horses as a nuisance. If you are a horse rider, speak to the British Horse Society Highways Officer to understand your rights on the road and what to do if you or your horse are injured.
Whether on a bike or a horse, visibility is key. Another little known fact is that you should wear high visibility equipment whenever you ride a horse or bike on a public highway. Failure to do so could lead to complications in an insurance claim. Obey the rules of the road as you would in a car give way at junctions and use your head as to what is safe and stay off the roads as much as possible.
Always ride with the traffic, not against it, and use clear hand signals. That way, if you are involved in an incident you can demonstrate that you know the laws of the road and are abiding by them. People making a compensation claim throughout the UK are being asked to provide witnesses of their accident, so if anyone is present ask for their contact details.
What to do if the unthinkable happens
Should you be unlucky enough to suffer an accident, you will need help not only from the police and your insurer but also from a claims specialist so that you do not suffer without compensation. Accident Advice Helpline are here to help you whatever the circumstances of your accident and are happy to talk 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can call on 0800 689 0500 from a landline or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile and get free no-obligation advice about your accident and your right to make a claim.