Specialist Lawyers Call For Motorists To Be Educated On The Risks Of Distractions Behind The Wheel

Lorry Driver Guilty Of Careless Driving After Seriously Injuring Cyclist When Distracted By Mobile Phone


Specialist lawyers representing the family of a journalist who suffered devastating injuries when she was knocked her off her bicycle by a lorry are calling for more to be done to teach motorists and cyclists how to share the road safely and the risks of distractions behind the wheel.

Mary Bowers, 31, is only minimally conscious, still in hospital and requires 24-hour care in a specialist rehabilitation unit after she became trapped under the wheels of a four-tonne lorry as she was cycling to work in November 2011. She suffered a severe brain injury as well as multiple fractures.

Mary’s devoted father, Peter, and step-mother, Elizabeth, instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell. Following an approval hearing at the High Court in London, an undisclosed settlement has been agreed for Mary to fund the lifelong care, rehabilitation and support she needs to give her the best quality of life possible.

Truck driver Petre Beiu was found guilty of careless driving following a five day trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court in December 2012. The court heard how he was distracted as he was providing directions to a colleague on his hands-free mobile phone when he knocked Mary from her bike and then forgot to put his handbrake on when she became trapped under the wheels.

Expert Opinion
“Mary suffered devastating injuries because the lorry driver did not have his full attention on the road and her family understandably find that very hard to come to terms with.

“We have repeatedly called for better education among all road users on how to share the road safely and Mary’s case is a devastating example of the consequences of drivers becoming distracted.

“She was wearing a helmet, clearly visible, remained within a designated cycle path and then moved into the cyclist stopping box, but it was sadly not enough to save her from suffering horrific injuries.

“Mary was a bright and intelligent girl with her career at a leading newspaper ahead of her. No compensation can ever replace that but the money will give her some independence and privacy as we managed to get her moved to her own bungalow in the grounds of the nursing home and also live long care and therapy.

“What is clear from this case is that drivers may not be aware of the numerous hazards and risks when driving through London, one of the busiest cities in the world.

“We continue to be contacted by cyclists or their heartbroken families who have been injured, through no fault of their own. It is positive people are encouraged to cycle to keep fit and reduce pollution, but for everyone to share the road safely, more needs to be done to educate all roads users on the potential dangers of becoming distracted or driving carelessly to prevent further unnecessary tragedies.”
Alison Eddy, Partner

Her father, Peter said: “The impact of Mary’s injuries has been devastating to her – her career was flourishing and she had her whole life ahead of her.

“We are relieved that now she will have access to vital funds which will help go toward specialist treatment to help and support her through her on-going rehabilitation.

“Safety on the UK’s roads needs to be made a priority – road traffic accidents, in particular involving cyclists are a regular occurrence and more needs to be done by the government to minimalize the risks to all road users. Lorries pose a particular risk to motorists and distractions behind the wheel should not be tolerated.”

If you or a loved one has been injured in cycling accident, our specialist cycling accident lawyers could help you claim compensation. Visit our Road Traffic Accident Compensation page for more information.