Training for your own Tour de France this summer? Whether you’re a seasoned traveller, an expert cyclist or a beginner in both, the subject that you may be avoiding is the question of risk of an accident on the road.
The subject of road safety is not something that should cancel your Tour de France, but is most definitely something that should be kept in the forefront of your mind to avoid being the victim of a cycling accident abroad.
If you’re confident in your abilities as a cyclist, it is still important to be aware of others on the road. Though there are more obvious risks, such as falling off your bike, many potential injuries can occur through no fault of your own.
France, for example, is accustomed to groups of cyclists along its long rural roads. The roads range from good to excellent for cycling, and the scenery is second to none. Various club memberships and packages with travel agents could help you to realise the cycling trip you have in mind, but if your plans are already made or if you’d sooner go off the beaten track, it is important to know what you’re up against in avoiding an injury from an accident.
Wherever you go, you should familiarise yourself with the rules of the local road. This ranges from knowing the highway code to what you should do if injured in an accident. If injured in a car accident, for example you should complete a European Accident Statement (or ‘Constat Amiable’) and call the police. See our Tips for Driving Abroad on Holiday.
Whether spending your trip on the road, or booking accommodation where you’ll be storing your luggage, an essential item to keep on your person whilst on your bike is a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is not an alternative to travel insurance, but will give you access to state-provided healthcare in the European Economic Area at a reduced cost, and sometimes free.
If you are injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you should gather as much evidence as possible for when you come to make a claim. Witnesses may be tricky if you do not speak the language, but photographic evidence of the site of the incident and your injuries could be obtained by ensuring you have your camera phone on your person.
When planning to take part in any endeavour overseas, the message is simple: travel insurance is important. It is sometimes the case that, when planning a trip and calculating expenses, the cost of travel insurance seems unimportant or avoidable. This is not the case. Travel insurance comes in incredibly affordable and competitive packages and, if planning a cycling trip abroad, can be tailored to cover your specific activities – something that no-one regrets in the unfortunate event of an accident abroad.
Do you know who to call in the event of an emergency abroad? Find out here.
Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyers are experts in cycling accident compensation claims. In one of our cases, a man was cycling on holiday when he was hit by a car. The accident resulted in a fractured spine. With help from Slater and Gordon’s team of expert Cycling Accident Solicitors, he was awarded £6,000 in compensation of his injuries, and has since made an excellent recovery from his injuries.
Joanne Berry is a Senior Personal Injury Lawyer specialising in Travel Litigation at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are experts in dealing with claims arising from holiday accidents in Florida and most claims are dealt with on a No Win, No Fee basis. For a free consultation call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.
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