Dan Walker accident is ‘reminder of how dangerous cycling can be’

Dan Walker's cycling injuries discussed on Channel 5 News

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In February, Channel 5 News presenter Dan Walker shared a number of pictures on his Twitter detailing how he had been hit by a car as he was cycling to work. He explained that he was “battered and bruised” and had no memory of anything and just remembered waking up on the tarmac with paramedics and police around him.

The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant added that the helmet he was wearing saved his life, urging others to “get one on your head”.

He even acknowledged that it was a “contentious issue” but insisted he didn’t want to start an argument about it.

Jonathan White, Legal and Compliance Director at National Accident Helpline, exclusively spoke about the importance of cyclist safety and what people can do if they suffer an accident.

He commented on how Dan Walker’s accident had reignited a conversation around road safety, adding that thankfully the TV presenter didn’t suffer any broken bones or severe injuries.

Mr White continued, saying: “The incident is a reminder of how dangerous cycling on city roads can be. 

“Cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users and often suffer serious injuries when involved in collisions with other road users.”

Major updates were rolled out in the Highway Code in January 2022, with the new rules being headlined by the “hierarchy of road users”.

This was designed to ensure that quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others on the road.

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Motorists were also encouraged to adopt the so-called “Dutch Reach”, technique which is designed to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

This involves any occupants of a vehicle opening the door with the opposite hand, ensuring that they turn their body and look over their shoulder.

It is hoped this will slash the number of injuries to any passing cyclists and pedestrians.

Mr White urged all road users to ensure they are travelling safely, and in the event of an accident, they should follow some simple steps.

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He added: “If you are injured in a cycling accident because of someone else’s negligence you may be entitled to compensation to cover your losses and help with rehabilitation. 

“You may be eligible for a claim if another vehicle was at fault, including another cyclist or if the road was in poor condition. 

“It is important to exchange details with other parties at the scene and report the incident to the police, as soon as possible, if someone is injured .”

The Highway Code also reminded drivers that they could ride in the centre of a lane on quieter roads, in slow-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions to make themselves as visible as possible.

They were also reminded that they can ride two abreast – which has always been the case and can often be safer in large groups or with children.

However, the guidance did make clear that cyclists must be aware of drivers behind them and allow them to overtake if it is safe to do so.

In 2022, the Government committed an unprecedented £2billion of funding for active travel over five years.

The ambition is for 50 percent of all journeys in towns and cities to be done via walking or cycling by 2030.

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