Once the clocks spring forward and the days are brighter it is time to get the bike out of the shed, dust it down and saddle up. Unfortunately it is not easy being a cyclist in Dublin.
Accidents involving cyclists are quite common and occur in a number of ways. The best way to avoid collisions are to take some precautions. Be visible: Use a white light for the front of the bike red for back, wear high visibility clothing. Be Smart: wear a helmet, check behind and give adequate signals, maintain your bike. Follow the rules: stay to the left, respect road users’ including both pedestrians and drivers, don’t cycle on the footpath, mind your speed, keep away from left turning vehicles, let them turn before you pass.
Types of Collision:
Most collisions are caused by human error – ‘failed to look properly’ especially at junctions by either driver or rider, drivers who execute ‘poor turn/manoeuvre’ or are ‘careless, reckless, in a hurry’. The injury for the cyclist will be greater where the driver is ‘impaired by alcohol’, exceeding the speed limit’ or ‘travelling too fast for the conditions’. The second largest cause of accidents is ‘cyclist entering the road from the pavement’. However, there are other causes too, these include;
- Motorist emerging into path of cyclist.
- Motorist turning across path of cyclist.
- Cyclist riding into the path of a motor vehicle, often riding off a pavement.
- Cyclist and motorist going straight ahead.
- Cyclist turning right from a major road and from a minor road.
- Child cyclist playing or riding too fast.
- Car doors being opened.
What to do:
- Seek medical attention – go to the A&E or at least GP as soon as possible to document
- Details of other party – record the name, address, contact details and insurance details of the other person.
- Witness details – record names, contact details.
- Or call the Gardai who will record these details.
- Contact your solicitor.
Types of Injury:
- Limb: collision with door or put arms out to save, or more seriously getting a limb caught between two vehicles, the road and vehicle, etc. Level of compensation can be determined by seriousness of injury.
- Chest/abdomen injuries: usually accompanied by head injury. These can be very serious and may have high compensation.
- Head injuries: very serious, and can occur even when wearing a helmet. They are at the higher end of the scale for claims.
- Back/neck/whiplash injury: Can be serious and have long term effects.