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Two Cyclists Speak Out On Road Safety After Suffering Serious Injuries

Victims Represented By Irwin Mitchell Raise Awareness Of Road Safety Week


Two West Midlands cyclists who were knocked from their bicycles in separate incidents earlier this year have spoken out about the importance of road users looking out for each other to raise awareness of Brake’s Road Safety Week.

Robert Brooks, 64, from Towcester, was knocked off his bike while travelling along a country road between Litchborough and Bugbrooke in March 2014 despite wearing reflective cycling clothing. 

He suffered a number of serious injuries in the crash and instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office to help secure funds to help with his rehabilitation and recovery. 

Mr Brooks was knocked unconscious when he was struck by a van and suffered a severe facial injury.  He needed extensive surgery to realign the bone structure and to reinforce the new structure with titanium plates.  He was off work for seven weeks.

The 64-year-old has struggled to come to terms with the incident, having been a keen cyclist throughout his adult life.  He has  only been back on his bike a handful of times since the accident and has not returned to cycling on the road as he is not comfortable riding in traffic. To mark Brake’s Road Safety Week, which this year is encouraging road users to ‘look out for each other’ on the roads, he wants to highlight the plight of the cyclist and to ask all road users to take more care. 

Another cyclist who has instructed Irwin Mitchell to investigate after he was knocked from his bicycle while travelling on the A38 in Birmingham city centre is Neil Cowood, 48, from Northfield, Birmingham.

He was knocked from his bicycle in daylight while wearing reflective clothing and safety equipment in March 2014. The incident left Mr Cowood with an open fracture to the tibia and fibula bones in his leg and a metal rod had to be inserted.

The leg injury was so severe that surgeons had to take a muscle from his chest wall and graft it onto his leg to protect the open fracture. Mr Cowood also a keen cyclist throughout his adult life wants to add his name to those reminding all road users to “look out for each other”.

Laura Bailey, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who represents both Mr Brooks and Mr Cowood, said: 
Expert Opinion
Unfortunately, we continue to see cyclists injured on the UK’s roads, with many of these incidents taking place during daylight hours and notwithstanding the fact that the cyclists were wearing personal protective equipment such as helmets and reflective clothing.

“We welcome Brake’s campaign which reminds us all of the importance of increased vigilance when using the UK’s roads, particularly at this time of the year with shorter daylight hours.

“Both of these collisions have had a serious and significant impact on the lives of Mr Cowood and Mr Brooks, not only in terms of their physical injuries, the treatment that they have needed and their ongoing rehabilitation, but also from a psychological point of view as it has proved difficult for them to regain their confidence and enjoy cycling as they used to. We are now working with them to get the help they need to overcome their injuries and get their lives back on track.”
Laura Bailey, Solicitor

Mr Brooks said: “Not only was this painful for me, but it had a very significant impact upon my family as my appearance was markedly different after the accident.  This was hard for both me and my family to accept.  A moment’s inattention by another road user has changed things dramatically for me and my family and I want to encourage all road users to think and look out for each other 

Mr Cowood said: “It has taken me a while to come to terms with what happened to me and it made me realise that more must be done to help motorists and cyclists share the roads safely.

“I hope Brake’s ‘look out for each other’ campaign will remind all road users about the responsibilities for not only their own safety, but that of others. It’s not just the people directly involved in any incidents but their family and friends who are also affected.”

Our specialist road traffic accident lawyers have experience helping a wide number of people who have suffered injuries following a cycling accident. Visit our Cycling Accident Claims page for more information.

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