Cycling accidents on a roundabout

At Cycle SOS, we know full well the dangers that roundabouts present to cyclists.

If you have suffered from a cycling accident on a roundabout, then our specialist solicitors can be of assistance.

Why do roundabouts present so much of a hazard to cyclists?

The purpose of roundabouts is to aid traffic flow in a manner which conventional junctions, controlled or otherwise, do not. That intention poses a risk to cyclists due to being less conspicuous compared with a larger vehicle when the cyclist’s smaller silhouette can easily be lost against the general background. Light coloured and/or reflective clothing and lights are all recommended to increase the chances of being seen.

Entering the roundabout

One of the greatest risks on roundabouts is when passing the entry ‘give way’ markings where traffic is entering the roundabout. Drivers prefer not to stop (just as do cyclists), but the entry speed may be too high to permit vehicles’ stopping if a cyclist is only seen at the last moment, especially if the speed limit on the approach is greater than 30mph.

In the absence of other traffic, some driving manuals suggest taking the shortest route between entrance and exit, so effectively straight lining the roundabout, which involves lane changes on entry and exit. A driver intent on trimming a couple of seconds from the journey time may not have cyclists’ well-being at the forefront of the mind!

Highway Authorities could improve safety by ensuring that vegetation reducing an approaching driver’s field of vision is trimmed back.

Exiting the roundabout

The second high risk is where traffic changes lanes to exit a roundabout. Drivers intending to take the second, third or beyond junction may place their cars in Lane 2 which necessitates crossing Lane 1 to exit. That manoeuvre aside, vehicles shouldn’t really be changing lanes but for a variety of reasons do!

The temptation especially for the less experienced or confident cyclist is to hug the nearside kerb on the outer circumference, but this is potentially dangerous for two reasons: first, through exposure to traffic entering over the Give Way lines and second by reducing the chance of being seen by those drivers.

It is preferable to ride in a position where a driver entering the roundabout would be looking for cars, which means towards the centre of the lane. It’s vital to have selected the correct gear to permit acceleration out of difficulty while maintaining a reasonable speed without too high a cadence.

The Highway Code

The Highway Code allows cyclists to remain in Lane 1 even if they are taking the second or third exit, but with the express instruction that a signal must be given indicating intention to remain on the roundabout when approaching an exit which the cyclist’s road positioning might otherwise suggest they are intending to take.

The most thorough analysis we have seen on roundabout technique for cyclists is in Cyclecraft by John Franklin which is recommended reading for Bikeability students.

Why choose Cycle SOS to represent you?

Following a cycling accident, it can sometimes be a challenge for an untrained observer to determine the cause and who is at fault. For this reason, we have a skilled team at Cycle SOS, who are not only cyclists themselves but are also trained in accident investigation and reconstruction techniques to assist you in compiling all the evidence required to bring a successful claim.

Established in 1988, we have helped many cyclists who have been involved in cycling accidents, many of which were caused by the hazards of a roundabout. As the cyclist’s national helpline, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As we are cyclists ourselves, we know the dangers the roads present and have seen first-hand, the consequences that cyclist road accidents can have on both the cyclist and on their families.

If you have been affected by the death of someone close to you in a cycling accident and are making a claim on their behalf, we are here to provide you with the support and assistance to ease your suffering.

How much will it cost to make a claim? 

In the majority of cases, we can assist you with a claim at no initial cost to you. Almost all of our cyclist road accident claims are funded through a Conditional Fee Agreement. More commonly known as a no win, no fee* agreement, this will mean you will only pay for our services if you are successful in your claim, and even then our costs are capped to ensure there is no financial risk to you.

When claiming for compensation, we will always take into consideration all factors of the accident. In addition to obtaining compensation for the injuries sustained, we will also look to obtain compensation for other costs including loss of earnings, medical assistance and damage to the bike and kit.

Whether you’re ready to pursue a claim for compensation for a cycling accident or simply to seek more information or advice, call us for free on 0808 100 9995. As the cyclist’s national helpline, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and our friendly and knowledgeable team are waiting to provide you with assistance.