Personal injury lawyer James Gleisner: The number of cycling injuries is unacceptable

James Gleisner
. Picture: John Rose Photography
James Gleisner . Picture: John Rose Photography

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WITH people aiming to either get fitter, be more environmentally friendly or simply being motivated by recent British success in Le Tour de France or the Olympics, it seems the number of cyclists on the road is on the rise.

But are the roads safe for them?

Recent figures from the Department for Transport show that in 2015 there were 888 injured cyclists per one million of population in Portsmouth alone.

This gives Portsmouth the worst statistics for cycling accidents outside of London.

These figures are astounding, it is simply not acceptable.

There are many dangers for cyclists when they are on the road.

Sometimes the dangers are caused by the cyclist, but more often than not, they are caused by something outside of their control.

Everyone has seen the cyclist who decides red lights do not apply to them and cycles straight on through, putting their safety, and that of others, at risk.

However, few motorists consider the cyclist when they park on the side of the road, as they create an obstacle that a cyclist would have to move into the middle of the road to manoeuvre around, putting the cyclist more in harm’s way.

Impatient motorists who drive too close to cyclists, and motorists who simply do not see them, just add to the dangers.

The poor standard of many roads in the UK, make the simple task of riding a bicycle more like an assault course at times.

Unfortunately, until there is a specific, well-maintained cycle lane on every road, motorists become more patient and educated about other road users, and more is done to increase the standard of the UK roads, there will always be accidents involving cyclists.

These can be from a relatively minor fall causing a few bumps and bruises, to very serious, life changing injuries or even fatal accidents.

The amount of cyclists injured on an annual basis is simply not acceptable.

When an accident happens the cyclists and their family want to know that they have someone on their side who can make sure fair compensation is received, not only for the injuries suffered but also for the damage caused to often very expensive cycling equipment, and the potential effect on their livelihood.

* James Gleisner is a personal injury lawyer at Trethowans, sponsors of The News Business Excellence Awards