Cycling Accidents at Roundabouts

6 Feb 2024 | Sam Collard
roundabout

Table of Contents

Cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users, particularly in major UK towns and cities. Roundabouts place cyclists at even greater risk of accident and injury, despite recent changes to the Highway Code to better protect them.

Some roundabout layouts can be especially dangerous to cyclists. It’s little surprise that many serious cycling accidents occur at roundabouts as a direct result of driver negligence. Sadly, the outcome for cyclists can be potentially catastrophic.

It is important to get legal advice

We know first-hand how dangerous roundabouts are to cyclists. If you or a loved one has been injured in a roundabout accident, you could claim cycling injury compensation. The most important step you can take is to talk with a specialist cycling injury lawyer at Osbornes Law on [ ] as soon as you can.

Osbornes Law is the exclusive legal partner for the London Cycling CampaignWe regularly represent cyclists injured on roundabouts and elsewhere, recovering the compensation they deserve.

Understanding roundabout accidents

Cyclists (and electric bike users) are classed as vulnerable road users as they are particularly susceptible to serious injuries if hit by a vehicle. On the other hand, a collision between two vehicles might not injure any occupants given they are protected by the metalwork of the car.

Cyclists are unprotected, which means an accident involving a vehicle could cause serious, possibly catastrophic injuries to the rider. The speed of vehicles combined with the manoeuvrers required of motorists travelling on a roundabout exposes even the most experience cyclist to a heightened risk of accident.

Common causes of roundabout accidents

The most common cause of roundabout accidents are driver negligence or error, but it’s far from the only cause. Other causes of cycling accidents at roundabouts include:

  • Poor visibility and poor weather conditions
  • Uneven road surfaces
  • Failing to judge another driver’s/cyclists path or speed
  • Driver or cyclist was careless, reckless or in a hurry
  • Aggressive vehicle drivers
  • Driver or rider impaired by alcohol
  • Poorly designed roundabout, lanes or approaches

In some cases, the cyclist may be partly to blame, for example, entering the road from the pavement or making a poor manoeuvre.

If you think you were partly responsible, always talk it through with a specialist cycling lawyer – you may be surprised to find you are not legally responsible at all. Even if you were partially to blame (this is called ‘contributory negligence’) – you could still claim compensation.

Cycling roundabout accident stats

Sadly, cycling accidents – including those that happen on roundabouts – are not uncommon.

While the number of cyclists killed on Britain’s roads has dropped over recent years, the numbers of serious injuries to cyclists has been rising. According to government figures, between 2018 and 2022 an average of 2 pedal cyclists died and 81 seriously injured every week.

  • Out of a total of 542 pedal cyclist fatalities, 23 died in a cycling accident on roundabouts, and
  • 2,750 pedal cyclists out of 21,156 who suffered serious injuries did so in roundabout accidents
  • 82% of all cycling causalities occurred in urban areas

In the latest published figures, it’s reassuring to see a decline in the number of cyclist fatalities and injuries reported. In the year to June 2023, there was a 22% drop in fatalities and an 8% drop in the number of casualties compared to the previous year.

Legal Framework and Cyclist Rights

Motorists have a legal duty of care to minimise the risk to other road users. Essentially, they must exercise due care and attention that you would reasonably expect of a competent and experienced driver.

They are also expected to take extra precautions to protect cyclists from the risk of accident and injury, set out in the Highway Code (which is essentially the official ‘how-to’ manual for UK drivers).

Approaching a roundabout as a cyclist can be tricky. You should be in the lefthand land and make sure you give way to traffic coming from the right before entering the roundabout. Once you are travelling on the roundabout, you have priority.

When travelling round the roundabout, cyclists have the right to move across lanes ahead of motorists; and they should be given sufficient room if and when motorists overtake them in another lane.

But remember cyclists must also follow the rules of the road, which means signalling early and clearly; and keeping a close eye on vehicles entering and leaving the roundabout.

Case Studies

Our specialists cycling injury lawyers have won compensation for several cyclists injured in roundabout accidents. Recent examples include:

  • Our client was cycling home from playing volleyball. His usual route home from New Cross, London included a junction with two roundabouts. He was hit by a vehicle when he was exiting the second roundabout. He was knocked off his bike and hit his head, suffering soft tissue injuries – which exacerbated a pre-existing condition. He also suffered psychiatric symptoms following the accident. It was hit-and-run accident and we claimed compensation from the Motor Insurance Bureau which eventually awarded him £14,000.
  • Another client was a cyclist travelling to work near Blackheath, London. A car failed to give way to him on a roundabout and collided with our client. He suffered multiple dental injuries and a fractured toe. We settled his case for £25,000.

These are illustrative of many cycling injury cases that preceded the introduction of increasingly robust protections for cyclists. In a very welcome development for cyclists in 2022, the Highway Code was updated – tightening up drivers’ legal responsibilities towards cyclists. (If they fail to comply, they risk a £70 fine.)

The amendments say motorists must:

  • Give priority to cyclists travelling on the roundabout
  • They must not overtake in the cyclist’s lane
  • Leave at least 1.5 metres room when overtaking cyclist at a speed of up to 30mph
  • Leave a gap wider than 1.5 metres if travelling faster than 30mph

While the new-look Highway Code helps to protect cyclists, it would not be wise to assume all motorists will be familiar with it – always exercise caution.

What to Do After an Accident

Immediate steps following an accident

If you’re involved in a cycling accident, get to a safe place – safely. It could be harder to do so on a roundabout.

If you or another person has been injured, call 999 and request an ambulance. When emergency services arrive, don’t suggest you were responsible for what happened (even if you think you’re to blame). It could jeopardise any claim you make later on.

You must get medical treatment, even if your injuries are very minor. Medical notes from early on will be crucial to support your claim.

Evidence gathering

Assuming you’re not badly injured, try to take pictures of your bike; the vehicle involved; and the scene of the accident showing the roundabout lanes concerned. Ask the driver for their name and insurance details, and the details of any witnesses to the accident.

If necessary, get someone else to get this information for you. People are invariably willing to help cyclists involved in road accidents. If you have any footage from the incident on a body-cam, keep it safe.

When your claim gets under way, your solicitors will continue to gather evidence to build your case.

What’s the claims process?

The best first step to take is to arrange for an initial free assessment with member of our expert cycling accident team, to see if you can claim compensation. We would need to be satisfied you would be more likely than not to prove the other party was at fault.

In our experience, most injured cyclists have a very good chance of success. Assuming you can proceed, we can take your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This removes the financial risk to you in bringing your claim.

The process will involve key steps, including:

  • We will contact the other party and their insurance company. In practice, your legal claim will be against the insurer and not the individual
  • If the accident was a hit-and-run (or the driver was uninsured), we will claim your compensation from the MIB
  • We will gather information to build a robust claim and will ask you for:
  • Witness details
  • Any photographs of the accident scene, your bike and the other vehicle involved
  • Footage from your body or helmet-mounted cameras (if any)
  • Evidence of loss of earnings
  • Invoices, receipts and so on for other financial losses linked to the accident
  • We will obtain your medical notes and record; any police and accident investigation reports; CCTV footage and ask witnesses for a statement
  • Arrange for an expert medical report to examine you
  • Once we are satisfied about the other party’s liability, we will contact the insurer with a view to liability being accepted. If they admit liability we will open negotiations for a settlement
  • If liability is not admitted, we will continue to gather evidence and consider commencing proceedings
  • We will follow a protocol which is a formal procedure lawyers follow. The aim is to make the claims process as efficient and effective as possible

Most personal injury claims are settled before court action becomes necessary. You can be confident we will work hard to settle as early as we can.

For further information about how to make a cycling claim, read here

How much compensation will I get?

One of the first questions we get from an injured cyclist is, how much compensation could I claim?

There is no simple answer to this because there are so many variables. Your compensation will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries, how long it takes you to recover and whether you are left with permanent health problems.

The compensation you do receive will be made up of ‘general damages’ and ‘special damages’.

General damages

Compensation for your actual injuries and the wider impact on your life. The expert medical report will play a key part in helping us assess how much compensation you should receive.

Note that if you were found to be partly to blame for the accident (eg you weren’t wearing a helmet or high-visibility clothing), you can still claim compensation; however, the amount you receive will be proportionately lower to reflect your ‘contributory negligence’.

Special damages

Intended to ensure you’re not left ‘out of pocket’ as a result of your accident. This means if you’ve had to have time off work to recover, we can claim back your lost earnings.

You can also claim back costs such as travel and medical expenses, prescription costs, the cost of therapies (eg physiotherapy and occupational therapy), the cost of bike repairs or a replacement. You can even claim back the costs of necessary adaptations at home if you or your loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries.

We know you will have questions about your compensation and we’ll be pleased to help you. For more information about bicycle accident claim payouts, read here.

How Osborne’s Law can assist in these cases

The service we provide is unique given our recognised expertise and reputation in recovering compensation for the victims of cycling accidents. Osbornes has been exclusive legal partner to London Cycling Campaign (LCC) for 10 years, during which time we have helped countless of cyclists. Our specialist lawyers not only focus on achieving a financial settlement for their clients, they also ensure access to the best medical treatment, including any rehabilitation therapies that might be needed.

Our approach is simple: we are uniquely familiar with the predicament of our cycling clients. We are also experts in securing early admissions of liability from insurance companies; and experienced in building robust cases in order to secure early settlement – allowing clients to get on with their lives.

With our experience, we bring a personal approach to each client. We advise with empathy and full appreciation of the significant impact cycling injuries have on victims and their families.

Contact and Legal Support

For a free initial assessment and to start your cycling injury claim, call the specialist cycling injury solicitors at Osbornes on 020 4502 8630. Alternatively, complete our online contact form and we can call you back.

Additional Resources

Links to safety guidelines and preventive measures for cyclists

Share this article

Contact

Speak to us about a bicycle accident claim

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    Read about some of the people we have helpedVIEW ALL

    1. man cycling past London underground station
      11.12.2023

      Cyclist Claims for Head Injury

      Client lands on the road and hits the crown of his head Our client was cycling on a straight road....

      Read more
    2. Cyclist on a street in London
      30.11.2023

      Cyclist Hit by Sports Car Claims £50k Compensation

      Cyclist Hit by Sports Car: How We Secured Compensation Andrew Middlehurst, a lawyer in the specialist cycling injuries team at...

      Read more
    3. cyclist in camden, london
      26.10.2023

      Cycling Accident Claims: Client Stories

      Below are details of various cases handled by Osbornes specialist cycle accident claims team including the payouts clients have received...

      Read more
    4. man cycling past London underground station
      6.6.2023

      Cyclists Claim After Hit-and-Run

      Successful claim by cyclist injured after a hit-and-run In this hit-and-run claim, Our client had been playing volleyball in the...

      Read more
    5. accidente de bicicleta
      25.7.2022

      Cyclist Hit by Range Rover Claims £30k Compensation

      Cyclist hit by 4×4 receives compensation Andrew Middlehurst, a lawyer in the specialist cycling injuries team at Osbornes Law, recently settled...

      Read more
    6. bicycle wheel
      30.5.2022

      Cyclist Claims £70k for Wrist Injury

      Injured London Cyclist Claims Compensation Cycling accident lawyer, Laura Swaine, recently settled a claim for an injured cyclist who sustained...

      Read more
    7. E Bicycle
      4.5.2022

      Bike Accident Insurance Claim

      Settlement reached for cyclist after insurers deny liability Personal Injury specialist, Laura Swaine, recently settled a cycling injury claim following...

      Read more
    8. abogados de accidentes de bicicle
      25.1.2022

      Cyclist Hit By Taxi Claims £130k Compensation

      Taxi Accident Claim Settled for £130k Andrew Middlehurst, a specialist cycling injury lawyer, has settled a claim for a cyclist...

      Read more
    9. cycling in london
      14.9.2021

      Dooring Accident Claim Settled for £70k

      Claim for Car Dooring Accident Settles for £70,000 Andrew Middlehurst, specialist bicycle accident lawyer at Osbornes Law, has settled a car...

      Read more
    10. 17.5.2021

      Cyclist Hit by Van Receives Compensation

      Spanish cyclist receives compensation for South London bike accident Blanca Diego, a bicycle accident solicitor in the Osbornes Personal Injury...

      Read more
    11. Cyclist Claims for Shoulder Injury

      London Cyclist wins £100,000 compensation following crash Andrew Middlehurst recently settled a case for a cyclist who injured his shoulder and...

      Read more
    12. cyclist
      27.8.2020

      Cyclist receives compensation for broken back & pelvis

      An avid cyclist had his ‘body broken’ and was left unable to walk unaided for almost a year after a...

      Read more
    13. bradley humphreys
      27.7.2020

      Cyclist whose career nearly ended following collision

      As reported in the evening standard, a jewellery designer and maker to the stars had his career almost ended when...

      Read more

    VIEW ALL