If ever proof was needed of the dangers involved in riding a bicycle on a public road, then surely the huge crash that occurred during Stage 1 of the Tour de France is proof enough. No one can have missed the carnage that was caused by an overzealous spectator who hit Tony Martin with a placard on the first day of the race, causing the entire peloton to crash. The spectator was arrested by French Police and may face charges over the crash, although the organisers of the race have dropped legal action against her in a bid to defuse public anger.
What this incident clearly shows is that the risk of being seriously injured when riding a bicycle, whether it be for pleasure, commuting or taking part in a top flight sporting event, can come from many and varied sources. The most common cause of cyclists being injured is being hit by a vehicle on a public highway. However, many injuries are also caused by cyclists hitting potholes that have not been repaired or by pedestrians crossing the road without looking properly.
Cyclists are classified as Vulnerable Road Users. Although Tony Martin and the rest of the peloton could have done nothing to avoid their injuries, there are a number of ways that cyclists in general can help to reduce the risk of being injured whilst on their bicycle.
- Always wear a hi-viz jacket and use BSI standard lights to maximise your visibility.
- Always wear a cycle helmet. It could save your life or prevent a serious head injury.
- Have your bicycle regularly serviced by a reputable mechanic. Safe brakes equal safe cycling.
- Do not listen to music whilst cycling. It is important to know what is around you.
- Give clear and obvious hand signals when carrying out a manoeuvre.
- Ride as close to the side of the road as is safe to do so.
- Never assume that someone has seen you.
At Lyons Davidson, we have a specialist team dedicated to dealing with claims on behalf of cyclists injured in accidents. We have a wealth of experience of dealing with all types of injuries, including broken bones, head injuries and soft-tissue injuries, as well as psychological trauma.