Britain has caught a real cycling fever in the recent decade. Cycling has become that popular, that in 2012 bike sales surpassed car sales, with over three and a half million bikes being sold compared to two million cars.
More and more people are turning to healthier, environmentally friendlier and cheaper way of commuting.
With the increase in sales and demand, every store is trying to become more and more competitive with prices. Argos has probably the best quality/price ratio, or at least that’s the one that comes to mind first. Often Argos has bike deals for as little as £80.
I cycle everywhere I can, especially with the warm weather, there is something really freeing about cycling, that I can’t get enough of. However, doing it wrong can be dangerous.
As a cyclist I feel like I need to be more aware of the laws of the road, because when it comes to claiming responsibility for accidents, the lines can become blurred and you can see why being well informed on your rights becomes fundamental.
Here are some common incidents that cyclists may believe, wrongly, to be their fault! Has any of these situations happen to you?
Being doored is never your fault! You are entitled to claim £1000 for this offence!
If you are not a cyclist, then you will not be familiar with the term “doored”. You are doored when someone opens their car door and accidentally knocks you to the ground in the process.
Now, many people would just put this down as a genuine accident, which is fair enough, but the point remains that it is actually illegal.
The Road Traffic Act of 1988 states that “it’s an offence to open any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger any person.” The passenger responsible for the dooring has committed a criminal offence and is liable to pay up to £1,000 in fines.
This rule has rarely been enforced; UK Cycle Rules author Jorren Knibbe reports that only two or three such incidents have been reported since 1960. Sometimes saying sorry does make it all OK, but if it doesn’t remember that there are laws in place to protect you from such occurrences.
Bus lanes are for cyclist,too!
One of the biggest nemeses for cyclists in the average UK city is the presence of buses. These giant red behemoths obviously rule the bus lane, but what people often forget is that bus lanes are there for cyclists, too! Bus drivers can get careless when it comes to checking their bus-lane-side mirrors and this lapse of concentration often puts the cyclist in great danger. When you take into account the fact that a cyclist sticks to the furthest most left point of the lane, any accident that does occur is usually the fault of the bus driver, and not the cyclist. Don’t let them make you think otherwise!
Collisions with pedestrians on a cycling lane isn’t your fault!
To many cyclists, the bane of their life comes in the form of pedestrians meandering into the cycling lane. What many people don’t know is that if you collide with a pedestrian in the cycle lane, then it is considered a Road Traffic Offence. Cyclists who have injured themselves or damaged their bikes in order to prevent a collision with a pedestrian who should really not be walking on the cycle lane, they could be entitled to claim for some form of compensation.
What to do in the case of a collision?
If you are ever involved in a collision whilst riding your bike there are some things that you must do. First and foremost, contact the emergency services, get yourself checked over and then file a complaint.
Unless cyclists start filing complaints, the government will never try and make it safer for people to ride!
Also, make sure you gather witnesses. If you want to win your case you’ll most definitely need them! Usually people with no connection to you are more beneficial in this instance.
There are many rules that favour cyclists but, sadly, many are unknown and those that are get used sporadically.
One thing is for certain: just because you’re on a bike does not automatically make it your fault!