Cycling to work can offer you many benefits. It helps you exercise, stay fit, boosts your mental health and it’s significantly better for the environment than driving. However, there are accompanying dangers that you should be aware of. By acknowledging the risks of cycling, you can lower the chances of an accident. Below, we explore the dangers of cycling and what you should do if you suffer an accident.
Why cycling or biking can be dangerous
There are plenty of dangers out there when you’re on your way to work. Roundabouts are one of the most dangerous places for those on bikes: cars may not see you as they join the roundabout, resulting in an accident. Similarly, parked cars can represent a hazard if a cyclist rides too close. A passenger can open their door at any moment, colliding with the cyclist. On top of this, if you’re in a city then you could suffer from the pollution in the air. While it would take a long period of exposure to have a negative impact, it’s worth being aware of. Finally, complacency can also cause trouble for cyclists: if you’re not focusing fully on the road, you can’t adapt to hazards in front of you and an accident becomes more likely.
Incidents are on the rise
It’s worth being particularly aware of the dangers of cycling or biking following the rise in incidents on Britain’s roads. Indeed, between 2004 and 2020, fatalities rose by five per cent, serious injuries grew by 26 per cent and pedal cycle traffic grew by 96 per cent. Clearly, the roads are now much busier and much less safe for cyclists. This can be intimidating but knowing what to do in an accident can make all the difference.
One of the most common reasons why cars breakdown or get involved in accidents is due to damaged tyres or wheels. Hence why the government has allocated some 500 million pounds towards fixings potholes across England. Motorbikes are not no exception either, so it is particularly important to check your car tyres for your own, as well as other’s safety.
What to do if you have an accident
The first step is to ensure that loved ones know your route and when you’re expected back – this can allow them to search effectively if you’re missing. Once you’ve been in an accident, your priority is to ensure that you’re safe. If possible, you should try and get yourself and your bike off the road. If you’re injured, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Next, you should speak to the driver and get their details. If the accident was caused by the road, you should take pictures of the defect. Speaking to any witnesses is also helpful. By gathering evidence, you can give yourself the best chance of succeeding with a personal injury claim.
Cycling or biking to work can be incredibly rewarding. And as long as you’re aware of the dangers and the steps after an accident, you should be all set to go.