1,713 people died on Britain’s roads in 2013 according to Department for Transport statistics. Whilst this is in keeping with a general downturn, the number of fatal accidents cannot and should not be ignored.
It may come as no great surprise that car occupants made up nearly half of all reported deaths.
Over 100 of the reported fatal accidents were pedal cyclists who also make up more than 10% of all people injured on our roads.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has indicated that around 20% of all tragic fatal cycling accidents in London involve a heavy goods vehicle.
With these statistics in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising to read news stories such as the tragic death of the 51-year-old father of one Alan Neve who was killed whilst cycling in the Holborn area of London.
Mr Neve suffered serious head injuries when he was struck by a lorry being driven by Barry Meyer in July 2013.
The lorry driver pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving. CCTC footage showed that Mr Meyer drove through a red light before colliding with Mr Neve who died later that day.
It emerged that the lorry driver Mr Meyer was uninsured, did not have a valid driving licence and had been disqualified from driving five times. What is more, his view when driving on the day of the collision was obscured by items placed on his dashboard, including a tub of sugar, a toilet roll and a mobile phone holder.
Mr Meyer was described by the prosecution in the case as having shown a “cavalier lack of respect for driving law and regulations”.
Despite the downturn in overall fatalities, it is clear from the statistics that cyclists face ongoing dangers from HGVs (and other vehicles) every day. Surely this emphasises the importance of investment in more cycle lanes and safe cycling routes? Greater use of bicycles would also have the added benefit of reducing congestion.
Andrew Zajac is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK, specialising in serious injury claims.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for anyone injured in a cycling accident. Call us on 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.
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