Cycling Accidents at Roundabouts

Knocked Off Bike at a Roundabout

Find out how to claim if you have Knocked Off Bike at a Roundabout

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Understanding roundabout accidents

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.

Common cause 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 – 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 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.

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 team 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.

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

What’s the claims process?

The best first step to take is to arrange for an initial free assessment with member of our expert 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. The aim is to make the claims process as efficient and effective as possible

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 team not only focus on achieving a financial settlement for our 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.

For a free initial assessment and to start your cycling injury claim, call the specialist cycling injury solicitors at Osbornes on 020 7485 8811. Alternatively, complete our online contact form and we can call you back.

Additional Resources

Links to safety guidelines and preventive measures for cyclists

Contact us about a Cycling Accident at a Roundabout

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

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






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