A report by insurer Britannia Preservation has revealed shocking facts about the poor state of Britain’s roads. The report estimates there is a pothole for every mile of road surface across the country, which added together equates to an area twice the size of the Isle of Wight.
But even more shocking is that taxpayers are having to pick up the bill of our poorly maintained roads, as a result of compensation payments paid out to road users. 32,600 claims were lodged in 2012/13 as a result of vehicle damage caused by potholes, the majority of which involved damage to wheel rims, punctured tyres and suspension damage. The average car repair bill was £140. Interestingly, the average cost of repair per pothole is just £52.
But unfortunately it’s cyclists who are most vulnerable to the poor state of our roads, with a number of recent cases highlighting just how dangerous they can be. In one case, a cyclist was awarded £70,000 after suffering a severe head injury and broken arm when he was thrown from his bike when it hit a pothole. In another tragic example, a 51 year-old cyclist participating in a charity bike ride was killed instantly when a pothole caused him to fall from his bike into the route of an oncoming car.
National cycling charity CTC campaigns for better road safety for cyclists. The charity has recently called upon authorities to prioritise greater funding levels to ensure roads are maintained via resurfacing as opposed to ad hoc repair jobs, and paying more attention to minor roads, which is where the majority of cycling takes place.
Commenting on the charity’s website, Chris Peck, CTC Policy Coordinator said:
“CTC’s members are still greatly concerned about the state of the roads – while investment has increased in major roads, the minor road network – where 82% of cycling takes place – continues to deteriorate. Poor road surfaces make cycling less comfortable, and can cause serious injuries and even deaths.”
If you have been injured as a result of a poorly maintained road surface or pothole, you may be entitled to make a cycling accident claim, and there are certain steps you should take at the outset:
1. Take a photograph showing the depth of what caused the incident, and make a detailed note of exactly what happened, including the time of day or night and the weather conditions.
2. Seek medical attention, even if you think your injuries are minor – they may be worse than you think.
3. Make a note of any witnesses to the incident, and take their contact details. They may be able to provide you with useful evidence in support of your claim.
4. Speak to a specialist solicitor at Farleys with experience of handling cycling claims.
At Farleys, we have a dedicated team of personal injury specialists, who have managed hundreds of cycling injury claims over the course of the past few years. If you would like to speak to a cycling accident solicitor, do not hesitate to contact us today.