Expert Lawyers Say Cycle Safety Should Be A Government Priority
A keen cyclist thrown through the windscreen of a car in a serious road accident has joined forces with expert injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to call for improved safety measures for cyclists on Britain’s roads.
David Hines was knocked off his bike by a driver making an illegal turn on the busy Lincoln Green Road and Becket Street junction in Leeds as he cycled home from work. He suffered serious leg injuries in the accident despite wearing a helmet, a fluorescent jacket and having fitted LED lights to his bike.
The 31-year-old, of Pudsey in Leeds, broke his shin and calf bones in the crash and needed two operations at Leeds General Infirmary to fit screws, a rod and metal plates to help the injury heal. He relied on crutches for four months and has since endured physiotherapy sessions to alleviate the constant pain in his ankle, knee and back.
David still suffers from pain nine months on from the accident and can’t enjoy his sporty hobbies, including mountain biking, rock climbing, running and squash.
The driver of the car which hit David has since admitted driving without due care and attention and failing to comply with a traffic sign after he ignored a ‘no right-turn’ signal on Lincoln Green Road. Magistrates in Leeds imposed three points on his licence and fined him £150.
David has now instructed lawyers at law firm Irwin Mitchell in his battle for justice and to help him access treatment and rehabilitation to get him get his life back on track after the accident in November 2011.
Deborah Martin, from Irwin Mitchell’s expert road accident team, is representing David. She echoed his concerns about road safety and says people should still be encouraged to improve their health and do their bit for the environment by getting on their bike.
She said: “Cycling is at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment with Britain’s success at the Olympics, which is fantastic. But more needs to be done to protect cyclists so people don’t feel discouraged or afraid to leave their cars at home and get on their bikes.
“In this case the driver simply ignored signs which would have stopped him turning into the David’s path as he was cycling. It has left him with a very nasty injury and we are helping him to access the specialist treatment and rehabilitation he needs to ultimately get him back in the saddle.
“Cyclists are very vulnerable on the roads and sadly we deal with many cases on behalf of people serious injured, or the family of those killed, on Britain’s roads. In our experience, several factors contribute to accidents, including the poor state of the roads and a lack of awareness of other road users. Drivers need to be more vigilant and understanding while more needs to be done to ensure all road users have access to better safety training so that accidents like this can be prevented.”
David added: “This accident has had a major impact on my life and I hope my story raises awareness of how dangerous roads scan be for cyclists, particularly at the moment when Bradley Wiggins and the GB team competing at the Olympics and Tour de France has inspired everyone to get on their bikes.
“I did everything possible to ensure I was safe, from wearing a helmet and fluorescent gear to keeping my bike in good running order, but I was still thrown through the windscreen of a car and suffered horrible injuries.
“My knee and ankle are still really painful and numb, especially where the screws hold everything in place. Just simple things such as bending down and tying my shoelaces hurt. I still struggle with pain and cannot fully carry out my hobbies.
“I have had serious problems sleeping because of the pain in my leg, and still have problems sleeping at night due to anxiety. This has made me feel depressed. I’ve lost confidence and just want to get back to the active life I had before the accident.
“The situation has also put a lot of pressure on my partner who had to drive me everywhere after the accident and now I spend a fortune filling up the car with petrol instead of cycling to work.”
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a cycling accident, you may be able to claim compensation. See our Road Traffic Accident Claims page for more information.