Personal Injury, Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence

Law firm calls for more protection for injured cyclists in the UK

Clarke Willmott obtain statistics about serious injuries and deaths from the Department for Transport

Leading law firm Clarke Willmott has called for more protection for cyclists and motorcyclists as statistics highlighted an increase in the number of incidents on UK’s roads.

The national  firm called for the Government to prioritise road safety and do more to protect these vulnerable road users in the light of the statistics obtained from the Department for Transport.  The Department for transport recently published their annual report on road casualties, and Clarke Willmott then asked to be supplied with more information about the incidents in areas close to some of their offices.

The statistics obtained by Clarke Willmott showed that:-

  • There were 287 cyclists and 232 motorcyclists killed or injured across Birmingham last year. These figures point to increases of 9% in incidents involving cyclists and nearly 6% involving motorcyclists when compared to statistics from the previous year
  • There were nearly 500 cyclists and 282 motorcyclists killed or seriously injured across Bath, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire last year. These figures point to increases of 10% in incidents involving cyclists and 8% involving motorcyclists when compared to statistics from the previous year.
  • There were 617 cyclists and 469 motorcyclists killed or injured in Greater Manchester during 2014.These figures point to increases of 8.5% in incidents involving cyclists and nearly 17% involving motorcyclists when compared to statistics from the previous year.

The law firm’s call comes after leading figures from the European Transport Safety Committee pointed to an increase in road deaths in 2014, leading it to suggest that the UK is “dropping its guard on road safety”. Read our earlier blog.

Clarke Willmott has experienced a 200% increase in enquiries involving injured cyclists in the last year. In one case, a cyclist who suffered injuries to his face after a car door was opened into his path and catapulted him into the road received £68,000 in compensation for his facial injuries after court proceedings were issued in his case. Treatment for injuries required the surgical fitting of 13 titanium plates to repair the bones in the cyclist’s face. The cyclist also suffered temporary loss of taste and smell. In another case, a former City Head Hunter recovered substantial damages after being knocked off her bicycle by a negligent van driver. Read our case report.

Stephen Trump, a partner in Clarke Willmott’s Serious Injury Team, said:

“The number of cases we have seen has increased over the last year. We are dealing with cases where cyclists have suffered life-changing injuries in accidents where someone else is at least partly at fault.

We strongly believe that many of the cases we deal with could have been avoided or prevented and that injuries and deaths on our roads can be reduced in the future. This would mean others will not have to endure the tragedy of losing a loved one, or sustaining life-changing injuries as our clients have.

We have worked with groups across the country, campaigning for improved road safety and in some cases providing safety equipment to cyclists. Following the publication of these statistics, we believe the best way to improve the UK’s safety record for cyclists and all road users is for Government to ensure this is prioritised and has the resources it needs.

Hopefully a research based, integrated approach to road safety can be adopted, including all the best strategies in a coordinated way. New technology or greater awareness in isolation will not achieve results. An approach that brings a change in culture and coordinates a variety of road safety techniques and includes local communities gives the UK the best chance of ending these tragic events.”

Nationally, there were 3,401 pedal cyclists killed or seriously injured in 2014, an increase of 8.2% compared with 2013. Motorcyclist casualties also increased by 8.7% from the previous year to 20,366.