It has been observed as per a study that was done by Clarke et al about twelve years ago that there are three elementary types of motorcycle or bicycle crashes. The first is the accidents caused by violation of the right of way; the second type is the control lost at bends when turning with speed and the third type is the accidents caused by overtaking.
Initiatives for road safety have to be targeted because it has been also observed that users of roads other than the injured motorbike users are mostly the cause of accidents.
There is another menace found in the United Kingdom in the form of the `born again’ motorcyclists. They are causing safety issues. They are middle aged and older people who are taking to the roads once again on powerful vehicles. They do not fail to realise that their riding skills may be rusty now. This becomes important when new policies are framed towards licensing and training. So far, these policies have concentrated on riders who are young of age and who are using lesser powerful vehicles.
Fatal accidents involving cyclists and motorbike riders are usually about the vehicles running off the road, late in the night and during weekend crashes that involve drunken driving. There are very few cases of solo accidents that are without colliding with other vehicles. Impairment of vehicles has a serious effect on motorbike riders.
We have recently handled cases that involved a cyclist suffering injuries because the cycle path that was designated turned out to be dangerous. The client we represented got injured during a city cycle ride which was organised. She fell off the bike as the route was maintained poorly by the council that organised it. This lady got in touch with our lawyers who handled personal injury as the impact she had from the bicycle fall caused a coccyx bone fracture. She had to rest for eight weeks in order to recover. This designated route for cycling had a bridge that was constructed of wooden planks. When she cycled over this bridge, the bike swerved on its slippery surface. The front wheel of the bicycle went into a big gap between these wooden planks, making her fall off the bicycle. We were able to get her medical compensation for the injury she had.
In another latest case we have handled, we were able to win compensation for injuries suffered by a sports enthusiast. He loved mountain biking and climbing and took part in triathlons. Unfortunately, he was involved in a motorbike accident that left him with several injuries. He got knocked off his motorcycle by the driver of a car. He had spinal injuries and he had to undergo a stabilising procedure for his spine. Our client developed pulmonary embolism and had to be transferred to the intensive care unit of a hospital. He also had to undergo a rehabilitation program at a hospital.
Despite these severe injuries, the driver of the concerned car and the insurance company handling that car claimed that our client was speeding on her motorbike and that he cut across the defendant’s path. After the police investigated the case, they found that this evidence could not be corroborated. Court proceedings were initialized by our client. The insurance company wanted to propose an out of court settlement but we refused. The settlement was certainly not enough to cover compensation for the inconvenience, the pain and the loss of her earnings in the future. Our client was unable to pursue the sporting interests that he had participated in, earlier.
We recommend that all motorbike riders and bicyclists should be totally alert when riding, particularly at roundabouts and junctions. They have to anticipate what other road users are likely to do. It is better to glance over the shoulder before going through a manoeuvre.