More than 250 cyclists injured from potholesNovember 22, 2019
When you think of how a cyclist may become injured, a collision with another vehicle may come to mind. However, would you think of potholes? In a report from the Department for Transport, figures have shown that more than 250 cyclists have been killed or maimed in crashes caused by potholes in the past five years.
This means that one cyclist a week dies or is left with life-changing injuries due to the state of our roads.
The reports come after a Freedom of Information request on the death of cyclist Carolyn Dumbleton, who was sadly killed due to damaged roads. She suffered a cardiac arrest after being thrown into the road as a result of her bike hitting a pothole.
With councils facing harsh budget cuts, cycling groups fear their members could be more likely to suffer an accident caused by a pothole now more than ever before. It is thought that the estimated cost of fixing the potholes would be £11.8 billion, and motorists are estimated to be spending £1.7 billion a year to fix the damage the potholes have caused to their cars.
Sam Jones, of Cycling UK’s Fill That Hole, an online pothole reporting tool, said “while a pothole might result in an expensive visit to the garage while driving, for someone cycling, a hospital visit could be very likely. We want the government to adopt a ‘fix it first’ policy and invest in repairing local roads.”
In 2018, 48 cyclists suffered serious injuries due to poor road conditions, and three were killed. This could very easily be reduced given the time and effort to ensure our roads are safe for everyone.
This week is Road Safety Week, organised by Brake charity. The theme is ‘Step Up’ for safer streets, and organisations from all over the UK are campaigning and raising awareness, to make our streets and roads safer for all. By making improvements to local roads by repairing potholes, it reduces the chances of accidents happening, for both cyclists and motorists, and will make the roads safer for people to use.
James Pritchard, a personal injury solicitor, and cycling specialist at Macks says “cycling accidents due to uneven surfaces and potholes are extremely common, and can often cause significant injury to someone. Cyclists are extremely vulnerable in that they don’t have much protection, compared to a motorist, should an accident happen.
More should be done to ensure the safety of road users, and the ‘Step Up’ theme for road safety week is important in highlighting the dangers of unsafe streets, and providing people with the information they need to be safer while travelling.”