Russell Worth Personal Injury Blog:

Keep calm & helmet on Cycle helmets, accidents and compensation claims

Jul 4, 2017 | Personal Injury

Russell Worth Personal Injury Blog:

Keep calm & helmet on Cycle helmets, accidents and compensation claims

At present, there is no English law compelling cyclists of any age to wear a helmet when cycling, even though the Highway Code suggests that cyclists should wear a helmet that “conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened.”

“Use your head use a helmet” a picture of a man on a bike in london

Some studies have suggested that wearing a helmet saves lives whilst others have suggested that you might as well be wearing a paper hat. The arguments presented for and against a change in the UK’s law to make cycle helmets compulsory include some of the following points:

Change the law to make cycle helmets compulsory

  • Some evidence suggests that wearing a helmet protects your head, one of the most vulnerable parts of your body, from injuries or reduces the severity of injury suffered.
  • Wearing a helmet gives some protection against adverse weather conditions and can improve your visibility in more difficult conditions.
  • Cyclists wearing a helmet are thought to be more visible to other road users.
  • Wearing a helmet sets a good example to your children to do the same.
  • Helmets can also protect other parts of your face in an accident or fall from your bike.
  • If you are involved in a cycle accident which was not your fault, the amount of compensation you receive is likely to be reduced if you were not wearing a helmet.

Retain the current law keeping cycle helmets optional

  • In countries that have introduced compulsory cycle helmets the number of cyclists has fallen. The health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks; life years gained due to cycling’s health benefits outweighs life years lost due to the risks of cycling 20:1.
  • Cycling UK is opposed to both cycle helmet laws and helmet promotion campaigns as being detrimental to public health.
  • There are serious doubts about the effectiveness of helmets which are designed to withstand minor knocks and falls (generally up to 12mph) but not knocks at 25 or 30mph nor serious road traffic accidents. There is evidence that suggests they may in fact increase the risk of cyclists having falls or suffering neck injuries.
  • Cycling typically accounts for only 7-8% of head injuries for which children are admitted to hospital each year and just a quarter of these to parts of the head a helmet might protect.
  • Wearing a cycle helmet can encourage drivers and cyclists to behave less cautiously. Policing compulsory helmets would be grossly disproportionate to the possible benefits. Tackling other road safety measures such as traffic speed, hostile roads and junctions and dangerous or irresponsible driving as well as offering high quality cycling training is more likely to improve cycle safety than compulsory helmets.

“Protect your head or end up dead”

According to the latest statistics on road traffic accidents reported to the police in 2015, there were 94 adult cyclists killed, 2,933 seriously injured and 13,508 slightly injured.

Hospital data shows that over 40% of adult cyclists suffer head injuries.

“Cool kids wear lids”

In the same period, 6 children (aged 0-15) were killed, 272 seriously injured and 1,651 slightly injured in cycle accidents.

Hospital data shows that over 45% of child cyclists suffer head injuries.

Claiming compensation as a result of a cycle accident

If you have suffered injury as a result of a cycle accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. The amount of compensation you are entitled to is assessed on the individual facts of your case. The nature and extent of your injuries and the prognosis for recovery will be considered.

Contributory negligence

If you were not wearing a cycle helmet at the time of your accident this may lead to a finding of contributory negligence on your part and if so, the amount of damages you receive as compensation for your accident will be reduced.

However, it is important to note that there is no current legislative requirement for cyclists to wear a helmet and the lack of wearing one does not prevent any compensation claim being established.

Legal advice

Suffering an injury from a cycling accident can be extremely painful. Compensation cannot restore your health but may go some way to help recover from your accident. Seeking specialist legal advice from a solicitor with expertise in compensation claims for cycling accidents and injuries will ensure you achieve the best possible outcome.

At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you have suffered an injury as a result of an accident that was not your fault and would like a free claim assessment, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.

Excellent. The service was efficient from start to finish and I would not hesitate to recommend Russell Worth Solicitors to anybody who is unfortunate enough to meet with a personal injury that is not their fault.
Hilary Ann

People Love Us - Click Here To See Our Reviews On TrustPilot!

Other Blog Sections