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Cycle accidents: safety in numbers

Cycle accidents could be reduced simply by having more cycles on the road under the ‘safety in numbers’ theory. The approach has already been proven by studies in The Netherlands, Denmark and California.

In the UK, on average, someone who regularly cycles will experience a ‘very scary’ miss once a week.

Pre-Covid figures showed that there were 16,884 cyclists injured in road accidents reported to the police. A further 4,433 were seriously injured and 100 were killed. The only accurate figure here was the number killed. This is because not all accidents are reported to the police, even the ones resulting in injury serious enough to have to go to hospital.

Danger zones

Almost two thirds of accidents occur at or near junctions, particularly T junctions. The most common cause of the accident is either driver or cyclist failing to look properly.

Other factors where cars were involved include clipping the cycle by passing too closely, knocking the cyclist off by opening the car door without looking and hitting the rear of the cycle.

Highway Code

Recent changes to the Highway Code have been introduced to improve the safety of cyclists. These include:

Dutch Reach

This involves opening the car door with the hand on the opposite side to the door itself. This forces you to turn your body, giving you a better chance of seeing an approaching cyclist and restricting how far the door can be opened.


Simply put, whoever is going straight ahead has priority, unless there are traffic lights in operation. This rule is common right across Europe and applies to drivers, cyclists or pedestrians.

Passing distances

A minimum safe passing distance of 1.5m is recommended. This should be increased to 2m in bad weather and for all heavy goods vehicles.

Recovering compensation

Over the years, our personal injury lawyers have worked with many injured cyclists, helping them to recover lost income and/or additional expenses they have because of their injury. Tragically though, we also see fatal cases which often leave families with financial worries on top of their grief. In these cases, we work with the dependents to recover compensation that will help provide them with financial security.

If you would like to know more about how we can help, you can find information on these pages of our website:

Cycling accidents

Fatal injuries