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This article was published on January 29th, 2021
Decreased visibility, poor weather conditions and the risk of ice on the roads all culminate to make cycling accidents in winter more common.
However, although conditions may be tougher, many cyclists still persevere and head out on their bikes, whatever the weather. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) the most dangerous time of day for cyclists is between 3pm and 6pm, with head and brain injuries being the most common type of injury sustained. This is when the light is fading and there is an increased number of vehicles on the road alongside cyclists as people head home from work.
Whether the accident occurs in summer or winter, a cycling accident has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries. As a result, we don’t only want to help those who are injured in cycling accidents, we’d also like to ensure that accidents don’t happen in the first place.
In this article, we have compiled a list of safety measures that cyclists can follow to improve their safety whilst out on a ride during the winter months as well as a guide to the steps that should be taken if you are involved in a winter cycling accident.
One of the biggest dangers to cyclists in England and Wales is other road users, particularly those who drive cars or larger vehicles. It is a legal requirement that car drivers and those who operate larger road vehicles owe cyclists a duty of care when they share the road with them.
If you are injured due to another road user’s negligence through no fault of your own, then you may be able to bring a claim against the other party that injured you.
In order to stay as safe as possible, there are few measures that you should take that we have detailed below.
According to the Highway Code, there are certain types of clothing that are recommended you wear to improve your safety on a bike.
In Rule 59 of the Code it states you should wear:
As well as the above which apply to cycling year round, you should also ensure you have the correct gear to help you stay warm as the temperatures plummet during the winter months.
Gloves should be a staple part of your equipment, they’ll keep your hands warm on cold nights and when it rains they’ll help you grip the handlebars better and give you increased control of your bike.
To ensure you always have clear sight you might also want to invest in a pair of cycling glasses. For winter you should opt for clear lenses that wick away the rain and allow you to focus on the road and every road user without having to worry about rain, wind or debris obscuring your vision.
One of the key aspects of cycling safely in winter is staying warm so that you can function at your optimum level, whatever the weather make sure you dress appropriately, bearing in mind that the weather in the UK can change in an instant, so it’s best to be prepared for weather you may not experience immediately.
The most essential piece of equipment other than high-vis clothing during winter is a set of bike lights. Lights are that important that they have their own dedicated regulation in the Highway Code too.
Rule 60 highlights that when cycling at night you must have white front and red rear lights lit. Your bike must also have a red reflector on the back of the bike and amber pedal reflectors.
When selecting which lights are right for you, make sure you choose them based on your requirements. For example, if you have a ride through an area that isn’t lit by street lights then you will need a light that has a solid-state steady lamp as a flashing light may not be sufficient to light your way.
However, for areas where you will come in contact with a lot of traffic, you may think about a flashing light as it will attract the attention of fellow road users much more effectively.
To cover all bases you may wish to purchase a multi-functioning light, but bear in mind that these can often come at an increased cost.
What to do if you’re involved in a winter cycling accident
If you are injured in a cycling accident and it wasn’t your fault then our team can assist you in the pursuit of compensation.
If your claim is viable, our team will first work with you to ensure that you get the rehabilitative treatment and care you may need following your accident in order to give you the opportunity to make the best possible recovery.
They will then gather all possible evidence to ensure that your case is strongly supported with the aim of helping you achieve the outcome you hope for.
Whether you have suffered minor personal injuries or you have been involved in a cycling accident that has left you with catastrophic injuries to the head or spine or your injuries have resulted in the loss of a limb, our team are vastly experienced and are here to help both you and your family.
We offer a free initial interview, during which a member of our team will assess your claim and decide whether it is viable and we work on a no win no fee basis.
If you would like to discuss your potential cycling accident claim then please don’t hesitate, get in touch with us today by calling 0800 1979 345 for free or alternatively you can complete our online enquiry form and arrange for a member of our team to call you back at a time that is more suitable for you.
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