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Be Bike Smart this Road Safety Week

Be Bike Smart this Road Safety Week

Bikers and cyclists are 63 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on British roads, per mile travelled, than car drivers, new research from road safety charity Brake suggests.

This shocking statistic is being highlighted by the charity’s Road Safety Week campaign, aiming to raise awareness of the vulnerability of two wheeled road users and encouraging everyone to be Bike Smart.

Cyclists and motorcyclists account for nearly 4 in 10 of all deaths and serious injuries on British roads, a total of 9,740 in 2017 – an average of one bike death or serious injury every hour.

Bike deaths also make up more than a quarter of all British road deaths, with a total of 101 cyclist deaths and 349 motorcyclist deaths in 2017.

Particular concern has been placed on the safety of motorbike riders, with emphasis on the increased danger they face due to not having the same protection as motorists in the event of a crash, despite travelling at equal speeds.

The responsibility to reduce the number of casualties lies with all road users, with motorists, cyclists and bikers being urged to take extra precautions and be aware of what’s going on around them. Continue reading for our road safety tips.

How motorists can keep bikers safe

  • Give cyclists more space. Brake recommends car users should leave riders a 150cm gap when overtaking.
  • Adopt the ‘Dutch reach’ technique when opening a car door. This procedure involves drivers opening a car door with the hand that’s furthest away from the door handle, increasing the chances they’ll spot passing cars and cyclists.
  • Slow down and take care to look properly at junctions.

 

How to cycle in a safe manner

  • Wear appropriate bright, reflective clothing and ensure your bike is equipped with front and rear lights, as these are required by law in the dark or poor visibility conditions.
  • Although a helmet can’t be 100 percent guaranteed to save your life, it can significantly increase your chances of survival. Research shows that wearing one reduces your chances of suffering fatal or serious brain injuries in a crash.
  • Stay vigilant and look out for any potential hazards or obstructions ahead, such as bumps, pot holes and parked vehicles, and give yourself plenty of time to manoeuvre around them safely.
  • Allow at least a metre between you and the kerb. Position yourself even further out from the kerb when on a road where it’s unsafe for a driver to pass you.
  • Never attempt to undertake a lorry or bus on the inside, especially at a junction, even if there is a cycle lane. Because of blind spots on large vehicles, the driver may not be able to see you if you pass on their left.
  • When changing lanes, turning, or any other similar manoeuvre, signal your intent clearly and well in advance so other road users know what you are going to do.

 

Advice for motorcyclists

  • Wearing high-quality protective clothing reduces the risk and severity of crash-related injury and hospitalisation. This should consist of leather or high-performance textile clothing, a helmet, and waterproof boots and gloves.
  • Stay well within speed limits, and slow down further for riskier situations and conditions.
  • Stay alert to everything that is going on around you and try to make eye contact with other drivers, but don’t presume that they have seen you.
  • Be extra vigilant at junctions. As you approach a junction, consider shifting your road position slightly, which can help drivers see you approach.
  • Take bends slowly and adjust your road position depending on whether it is a left or right-hand bend. Never ride close to the central white line on a right-hand bend; if you do, your head will be in the path of any oncoming vehicles.
  • Be vigilant for any wet-looking patches or long dark lines on a dry road, or rainbow-coloured patches on a wet road – these are an indication of spilled diesel, which can be as lethal as black ice.

 

When accidents happen

Whether you’re a motorist, cyclist or biker, unfortunately accidents can sometimes be unavoidable.

If you have been involved in an accident, this may have had a devastating impact on your life and the lives of your loved ones. Although no amount of money can lessen the pain and suffering as a result of your injuries, a compensation payment can help you begin to rebuild your life and assist with any financial strain.

How the specialist teams at Kerr Brown Solicitors can help

We understand how traumatic a road accident can be and we know the importance of claims being dealt with quickly and effectively with minimal fuss.

At Kerr Brown Solicitors, we have specialist car accident teams, motorcycle accident teams and cycling accident teams who will be able to advise you on your specific circumstances. Your solicitor will ask you questions about your accident in order to assess what evidence may be available and required to support your claim.

For more information on how our specialist solicitors can help you make your car, motorcycle or cycling accident claim, please call our friendly team on 0141 413 9837 or start your claim now.

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