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Bicycle Accident Liability
It will come as no surprise to hear the majority of bicycle accidents involve cars. Over 75% of cycle accidents occur on, or near junctions and the most common accidents happen when the cyclist or the other driver is turning right. This reinforces statistics which state 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, men are less likely to stop and so are not there to be missed in the 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.