Cycle Accidents - Liability
It will come as no surprise to learn that the majority of pedal cycle accidents involve cars. However, over 75% of cycle accidents occur while the cyclist is travelling straight ahead. The next most common scenario for an accident is where the cyclist or the other driver are turning right. This would reinforce the statistics which state that the most common cause for a cycle accident is the cyclist not being seen.
By contrast, 75% of serious cycle accidents involving heavy goods vehicles are where the HGV is either turning left or overtaking the cyclist. Research performed in London has shown that women are more likely to be involved in such accidents because they obey the law, with particular risk at traffic lights. Put simply, the men do not stop and are not there to be missed in a blind spot of a turning vehicle.
Cycle law has been somewhat overlooked during the development of road traffic cases. However, recently focus has started to turn to this. The Court of Appeal is already starting to make noises about the fact that a failure to wear a cycle helmet may amount to contributory negligence, reducing an injured cyclist's damages as a result. As this gathers momentum we are expecting to see many more fights on liability arising.
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