Motorcycle Tips

Top 10 Tips What to Do After A Motorcycle Accident?

Our Top Ten Tips of Things to Do After a Motorcycle Accident?

Unfortunately, the odds are that if you are a keen motorcyclist, you will at some time or another be involved in a motorcycle accident. A great many motorbike accidents are caused by reasons beyond the control of the rider. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will suffer a horrendous crash, as most accidents are fairly minor in nature, often resulting in no injuries at all.

However, regardless of how serious an accident is, you need to know how to deal with the aftermath. From ensuring you are safe and getting the medical treatment you need, to preparing to take legal action such as making a compensation claim. This page is aimed at providing you advice on what to do post-crash. Some advice on what to do, and how to do it.

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What Should You Do Following a Motorbike Accident?

Being involved in a motorcycle accident either as a rider or a pillion passenger, is a traumatic event. Even a minor accident is a stressful experience. Meaning you might not be thinking straight at the time, and may not handle the accident in the right way. Alongside getting medical help for any injuries, you have certain legal obligations to fulfil after an accident. You may also need to prepare for making some form of compensation claim further down the line. For example, if you were to be involved in a fatal motorcycle accident today whereby your pillion passenger died, do you know what steps you have to take after the crash? This page will tell you, we will cover the following:

  • What some of the main causes of motorcycle accidents are, and hazards that motorcyclist are particularly prone to, etc.
  • The types of injuries that a motorcyclist might suffer in an accident, which are generally going to be more severe than, for example, a car or van driver might suffer.
  • Some of the key statistics that relate to motorbike accidents in the UK.
  • A list of 10 things that you should do following a motorbike accident. To ensure you are safe, that you have disbursed your legal obligations, and ensured you are in a position to claim compensation if applicable.
  • A discussion of the kinds of legal entities that could be liable for causing a motorcycle accident, and could possibly be sued for damages.
  • Some general advice on finding a solicitor and moving forward with an accident and injury claim if applicable.
  • The last section of this guide has some useful external links that could have further information that could be pertinent.

Obviously, we can’t provide answers to every question you may have on this page. But we believe we have given some solid advice on how to manage a motorbike accident both directly after the accident has happened, and also in the future if legal action is taken against you, or you wish to try and make a compensation claim yourself.

The Main Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) published a report on common motorcycle crash causes in 2017. According to this report, the most common causes or motorbike crash in the UK, are:

  • Collisions at a junction – often caused by other road users not seeing the motorcyclist and pulling out in front of them.
  • Collisions whilst overtaking – one of the advantages of riding a motorcycle is that you can pile on the power and nip past slow-moving traffic, even on single carriage roads. So, it should come as no surprise to find collisions with oncoming traffic on this list.
  • Loss of control – due to being an inexperienced rider, bad road conditions, extreme weather conditions, etc.
  • Speeding – once again, no surprise to see speeding on this list. Many keen motorcyclists ride powerful sports bikes that can hit the legal motorway speed limit within 3 or 4 seconds.
  • Alcohol – as with any form of vehicle, riding a motorbike while under the influence alcohol (or drugs) is a recipe for disaster.

Of course, there are many more causes of motorcycle accidents, but according to RoSPA, these are the most common of all.

What Kinds of Injuries Are Common in Motorcycle Accidents?

In this section, we look at some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries. Even if a rider is wearing a full-face helmet, reinforce leggings and jacket, as well as proper motorcycle boots, they are still far more likely to suffer serious injuries in a crash than any other type of road user. Some common types of injuries could include:

  • Motorcycle accident head injuries – even when wearing an approved safety helmet, motorcyclists are at a high risk of suffering grievous head injuries and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
  • Damage to the spine – especially in accidents where the motorcyclist collided with oncoming traffic or was run over by another vehicle.
  • General fractures – most common of the arms, legs, shoulders or neck.
  • A motorcycle accident foot injury – such as a sprain or strain due to the foot getting caught on the footpegs during the crash.
  • Fatal trauma – more motorcyclists are killed on UK roads every year than any other kind of road user.

There are, of course, many more injuries that could be caused by a motorbike crash, but these are some of the most common of all.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

In 2015, the Department of Transport (DoT) undertook a study into motorcycle accidents. These motorcycle accident statistics were published in the findings of this study:

  • 94% of all motorbike crashes involve males.
  • 68% of all motorcycle crashes take place on rural roads.
  • 33% of all motorbike accidents involve people under the age of 25.
  • 41% of all motorbike crashes involving a bike of more than 500cc involved riders between the ages for 41 and 55.
  • 46% of accidents involving a motorcycle and a car were caused by the car driver not paying due care and attention.

As we can clearly see, motorcyclists in the UK tend to be male, with older men riding larger bikes. And driving in the city is safer than driving on rural roads.

10 Tips of Things to Do After a Motorbike Accident

If you were to be involved in a crash, for example, a motorcycle accident in Oxfordshire, there are a number of things you should do, either to deal with the accident at the time it took place, or to ensure you have followed your legal obligations after an accident. There are also some sensible steps to take to cover yourself legally, if you think you might need to make a compensation claim in the future. The sections below, each cover on of the top 10 things to do after a motorcycle crash.

1. Ensure Everyone Is Safe and Call for Help If Needed

If you can, move your motorcycle over to the side of the road, and help other drivers to move their vehicles to the verge as well. Make sure that everyone is in a safe place and not at risk of further injury. However, people in a serious medical condition should not be moved. If you can, use warning or hazard signs in appropriate places to warm that an accident has taken place.

2. Notify the Police If Applicable

In some cases, you must inform the police that an accident has taken place. If any person has suffered harm, there has been damage to private property, you suspect another road user to be intoxicated, or an animal has been killed, you must call the police. However, consider calling the police even if you are not required to do so. This will mean that a motorcycle accident report is available from the police in the future, if you need it as evidence to support a compensation claim.

2. Gather Driver Details and Evidence

You must exchange your driver information with any other road user involved in the accident. This means your name and address, the details of your insurance, etc.

You may also like to gather evidence that you might need in the future, to prove how the accident happened and who was responsible. You could take photographs of the scene or the cause of the accident if it is safe to do so. You should also ask any witnesses to the accident for their contact details, in case you need them to provide testimony in the future.

4. Get Medical Treatment

Even if you think your injuries are only minor, you should visit the hospital to have your motorcycle injuries treated. You could be suffering from far more serious injuries than you think. A good example of this, and a common injury suffered by motorcyclists, is a concussion. You may not realise you have a concussion; a doctor will.

A tertiary reason for visiting the hospital, is so that there is an official record of your injuries and the cause of them. This could be valuable evidence if you need to make a compensation claim at a later date.

5. Inform Your Insurer

In some cases, you are legally obliged to notify the company that provides your vehicle insurance that you have had an accident. However, best practice would dictate that you inform them any time you are involved in a crash. This is so that they have a record of the accident taking place, and the cause, in case there is any contention over how the accident occurred at a later stage.

6. Find A Solicitor

If you have had a bike crash, from the most minor incident to a fatal motorcycle accident that killed your pillion passenger, you may want to speak to a solicitor. For two reasons. Firstly, if you believe that you could be liable for the accident, and a third party might try to sue you. Secondly, the opposite, when a third party caused the accident and you believe that you could be eligible for compensation. A solicitor can help in both circumstances.

7. Be Truthful

When you are reporting the accident to the police, your insurer, or explaining your situation to a solicitor, always be truthful. The law in the UK is fully capable of handling accidents for which the victim was themselves partly to blame, in a fair manner.

Never exaggerate your financial losses or the physical harm you have suffered, you will be found out if you end up in court, as evidence will be presented by both sides to prove or disprove a claim.

Certainly, don’t attempt to fool your insurance firm into paying out more money than they should, by inflating the cost of repairs to your bike due to damage sustained in the accident. If the insurer suspects this is happening, they will send an independent evaluator to check the bike over and you will be found out.

8. Don’t Sign Anything

It is possible that the insurance firm used by a third party involved in the accident will send you a letter. This letter could offer you free legal representation to handle a compensation claim, etc. However, you will be asked to sign documents that could harm your ability to make a claim for damages, or limit the level of damages you can receive. Don’t sign anything without having a lawyer check the document over first.

9. Think Before Accepting an Out of Court Settlement

A vehicle insurer my offer you an out of court settlement very shortly after the accident. Before you have even recovered, or know what the prognosis is for a full recovery. This settlement will not have taken your motorcycle crash injuries into consideration, and is very likely to be less than you would receive if you proceed with a proper claim.

10. Be Patient

If you do decide to make a compensation claim for the harm and financial loss you have suffered in a motorbike accident, you need to understand that the entire process can take some time. In complex cases, even years.

A claim is a two-sided negotiation. Your solicitor may be on the ball, working efficiently and end up waiting for the defendant’s legal team for a response. This could happen multiple times during the process of making a compensation claim.

Who Could be Liable for a Motorbike Accident?

If you are involved in a motorbike accident, as a rider or a pillion passenger, there could be legal ramifications. The accident could be your fault, meaning a claim may be made against your insurance policy by a third party. Or you may want to make a motorcycle accident claim yourself, claiming against a third party. So, let’s take a look at which legal entities could be liable for a motorcycle crash, including yourself.

  • You, the rider – if you did anything that caused a road hazard which resulted in the accident, or contributed towards the accident in some way, then you yourself could be liable.
  • Your pillion passenger – if they did anything that caused a road hazard which resulted in the accident, or contributed towards the accident in some way, then your pillion passenger could be liable, and also you the rider in some cases.
  • Another driver or their passenger – if the driver of a car, lorry, can, bus, or any other vehicle, or one of their passengers, does anything to cause or to contribute to an accident, they could be liable.
  • A pedestrian – any pedestrian using a public footpath, or a public road, that causes or contributes to a road traffic accident could be liable.
  • The owner of an animal – such as a pet dog that has escaped its lead, or a farm animal that has strayed on to public roads, causes or contributes to a traffic accident could be liable.
  • A privately-owned company – if the actions of the company cause a hazard which causes or contributes to an accident, the company could be liable. For example, a rubbish slip placed in an inappropriate place causes an accident.
  • A government body – such as the local council or the highways authority causing or contributing to an accident, the organisation could be liable. For example, local authority failing to fix a pothole, or the highways authority allowing a safety barrier to go unmaintained.

These are all examples of the kinds of legal entities that might be liable for causing a road traffic accident, either fully or partially. There are, of course, others.

Do You Need to Make a Claim?

In some cases, if you have become the victim of physical harm or some level of financial loss, for example, you may be able to make a motorcycle accident claim. You don’t automatically have the right to make a claim, you will need to fulfil the eligibility criteria first, and this is something that an accident and injury solicitor will be able to help you with.

One thing to consider if you do need to make a claim, is how are you going to procure the legal help you need? Are you going to approach a solicitor off your own back? Or are you going to use a claims management firm to act as an intermediary? Both have their benefits, but using a claims management company is generally a simpler option.

A further consideration is how are you going to fund your claim? Will you pay your solicitors fees and legal fees as you go, out of your own pocket? This can put you at risk of significant financial loss. Often a better alternative is to use the services of a No Win, No Fee solicitor. By using this kind of service, you minimise many of the financial risks of making a claim, as you don’t pay the solicitors fees until your claim gas been one.

Motorcycle Accidents – Some Final Thoughts

If you have read this far, you have probably come to realise that aside from the pain and trauma of being involved in a motorbike accident, the post-accident landscape can be very complex, depending on the circumstances of your accident, and what you are hoping to achieve.

If you suffer no injuries, and no damage to your bike, you really only need to ensure that you cover your legal obligations (such as reporting the accident to the police). However, if you did suffer harm or damage to your bike, you need to approach things with a little more care. The actions you take immediately after your accident can have a major effect on your legal position further down the line. Whether you want to make a claim yourself, or you are being blamed for an accident that wasn’t your fault and a third party is attempting to make a fraudulent claim.

If you are in any doubt about what your next actions should be, you should consider taking legal advice. If you don’t want to take things that far initially, then you could try speaking to your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

Further Information

We have provided these external links to web pages that contain additional information that could be of use to you:

UK Government Road Traffic Accident Statistics

National Health Service (NHS) Information Related to Whiplash

CAB Information About Vehicle Insurance in an Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault

Top 10 Tips What to Do After A Cycling Accident?

Our Top Ten Tips of Things to Do After a Cycling Accident?

Cycling is a popular form of exercise, and also a method of general transport that has been growing in popularity year on year for some time. Cycling is cheap, keeps you fit, and is great for the environment. But it isn’t all downhill cruising, as cycling injuries that are caused by a road traffic accident can be severe, especially if the cyclist wasn’t wearing any protective clothing.

Becoming the victim of a cycling accident, no matter how minor, is going to be a stressful, potentially traumatic experience. Not only will you have to deal with a possibly damaged bike, and also your own injuries, but there are also a number of legal obligations that you must fulfil, related to reporting the accident, etc. And of course, if the accident wasn’t your fault, you may, at a later stage, whish to pursue a cycling accident claim against the party that caused the accident. You will need to ensure that you take action after the accident, that prepares for this eventuality.

This page offers some solid advice on how best to deal with the aftermath of a bicycle accident. To get the help you need at the time of the accident, to ensure you have covered your legal obligations, and to make sure you are well prepared to make a compensation claim at a later stage if applicable.

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What Should You Do Following a Cycling Accident?

Most people have a general idea of what they would need to do following a cycling accident. Move their bicycle off the road, deal with any injuries, etc. And whilst these are, of course, important things that need to be done after an accident, there are quite a few more steps you may need to take, many of which you probably won’t be aware of, or the reasons why you might need to do them.

This page aims at showing you the kinds of steps you need to take after a road traffic accident. Not all of our 10 tips for things to do will apply to every accident though. We will be covering:

Some of the main causes of cycling accidents. A road traffic accident involving a bicycle can have vastly different causes than, for example, a car accident. Cyclists are at risk of an accident caused by hazards that a car, van or lorry driver would find trivial. For example, deep puddles on a road. Most vehicles would just drive through them, hardly noticing. A cyclist, however, could find this a significant hazard.

The kinds of injuries that cyclists are prone too. As riding a bicycle, especially without protective clothing and a good helmet, places a person at risk of serious injuries if they are involved in a road traffic accident.

A number of statistics that relate to cycling in the UK, including road traffic accident data.

Our list of top ten things you could need to do if you are involved in a road traffic accident whilst riding your bike. To make sure you get the help you need at the scene, that you disburse your legal obligations, and that you have ensured that you are in the best position to make a compensation claim in the future if you need to.

We have included a section that explains who could be liable for causing a cycling accident. This, of course, includes you, the rider. We added this section so that you can a) come to understand just who might be in a position to take legal action against you if you caused the accident, and b) so that you learn which kinds of third parties could be pursued for damages if they caused the accident.

No guide to any kind of road traffic accident would be complete without a section related to the legal process of making a compensation claim for any physical harm or financial loss you have suffered. We offer some good advice on how to find good legal help, how claims management firms work, and also why a No Win, No Fee solicitor might be a good choice in some instances.

At the end of this page, we will summarise its contents, and wrap up with a few more insights into why it is important that you take the rights steps after a road traffic accident. And lastly, we have provided some external links that lead to websites that have related information that might be useful to you. We have tried to cover as much as we can on this page, but there might be specific aspects of your own circumstances that we have not covered. If you do need some advice following a cycling accident, you should probably consider contacting a legal firm for assistance.

The Main Causes of Cycling Accidents

A bicycle is a small, slow vehicle. This means that the kinds of hazards that can cause a cyclist to suffer an accident, are often the kinds of hazards that other road users might not even notice. They would be considered almost trivial by a car or lorry driver for example, but could cause a serious accident for a cyclist. Such as:

  • Being cut off, or another vehicle turning into the cyclist’s path. This generally happens when a motor vehicle overtakes a cyclist and then cuts in front of them without leaving enough room behind.
  • Being run off the road. Again, caused by overtaking vehicles. The driver that is overtaking the cyclists fails to leave enough room on the left-hand side. The bicycle is either pushed off the road physically by making contact with the overtaking vehicle, or wind caused by the passing vehicle pushes them off the road.
  • Drivers failing to see a cyclist. When turning at a junction or when changing lanes. Every vehicle has a blind spot in their rear-view mirrors and a bicycle is small enough to disappear in such a blind spot.
  • Vehicles pulling out in front of a cyclist from a junction. Due to the driver not paying due care and attention, and not seeing the cycle coming along the road that they are pulling out on to.
  • A driver or passenger opening a car door in the path of an oncoming cyclist. When a bicycle is close to a car, it is almost impossible for people in the car to see it, unless they look out of the rear window or the side windows.
  • Bad road conditions. More than any other road user, a cyclist is at risk of a serious accident from nothing more complicated than a pothole or a rut in the road.

These are some of the kinds of hazards that can result in a cycling accident. As you can clearly see, these are really fairly unique hazards that other road users would handle safely without a hiccup.

What Kinds of Injuries Are Common in Cycling Accidents?

We have already shown how people who are riding a bicycle are put at risk of an accident by a fairly unique set of road hazards. And of course, due to the nature of a bicycle, with its complete lack of any protection for the rider, the injuries a cyclist can suffer can be quite serious. Especially if the rider is not wearing an approved cycling helmet. Some of the most common cycling accident injuries are:

  • Road rash, scrapes, and grazes caused by contact between the skin and a road surface. In some cases, these injuries can be quite severe, and require skin grafts as part of the treatment for them.
  • Cycling accident head injuries. If the cyclist isn’t wearing a helmet, they are at far greater risk of suffering head injuries, and also catastrophic injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), that in an extreme case, could be fatal.
  • Soft tissue injuries, such as a cycling accident foot injury, caused by the limb being flexed the wrong way. Sprains and strains are a common cycling injury.
  • Fractures, specifically of the legs, arms, shoulders, wrist and ankles. These are all high-risk parts of the body in a cycling accident, likely to be fractured.

Of course, there are many more types of injuries that a bicycle rider could suffer from, but these are some of the most common.

Cycling Accident Statistics

The Royal Society for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), undertook an investigation into bicycle accidents in November of 2017. These cycling accident statistics were published in the findings of this study, they relate to the year 2016:

  • Accidents involving children resulted in 8 deaths, 309 serious injuries, and 1,664 slight injuries.
  • Accidents involving adults resulted in 94 deaths, 13.314 serious injuries, and 16,496 slight injuries.
  • 81% of all cyclist injured in a road traffic accident were male.
  • Almost 2/3rd of all cycling accidents took place on or near a road junction.
  • 80% of all cycling accidents happen in the daytime.
  • 75% of serious or fatal accidents involving a cyclist happens in an urban area.
  • Around 2/3rd of all fatal accidents involving a bicycle, head injuries were the cause of death.

These statistics clearly support the facts we have presented above, in regard to the common kinds of hazards that cyclists fall victim of, and the injuries they are prone to suffer in such accidents.

10 Tips of Things to Do After a Cycling Accident

As promised, here are our 10 top tips for things to do if you have been involved in a cycling accident. Each of these will either help to make sure you get the help you need at the time of the accident, make sure you have fulfilled all of your legal obligations, and also prepare you for making a compensation claim if you need to.

1. Ensure Everyone Is Safe and Call for Help If Needed

Make sure that everyone involved in the accident is safe, unless of course, you have such severe cycling injuries that you cannot help. Move people off the road into a safe place, unless they appear to be suffering from serious injuries. In such cases, they should be left where they are and not moved.

2. Notify the Police If Applicable

In certain situations, you must report a road traffic accident to the police. This is your legal duty and failing to do so could see you prosecuted. Probably the best idea is always to inform the police of any road traffic accident. This will ensure that you can get a cycling accident report from the police if you need it as evidence later.

3. Gather Driver Details and Evidence

As a cyclist, you are not expected to provide your documents to other drivers involved in the accident, apart from your name and address. You don’t need a licence or insurance to ride a bicycle legally. However, you should get the details of other drivers yourself, as you might need them later.

Also, consider taking some photographs of the scene of the accident, to show how it happened and the positions of the vehicles. These might be needed as evidence later on. Similarly, getting the names and addresses of any witness is a good way to prepare for making a claim in the future.

4. Get Medical Treatment

If you were to suffer bike accident anywhere, such as a cycling accident Oxfordshire, you should visit the local Accident & Emergency Department at a nearby hospital to have your injuries checked over. Do this even if you think your injuries a slight and don’t need treatment. Some injuries such as a concussion are hard to self-diagnose.

Visiting the hospital will also ensure that there is an official paper trail, showing what your injuries were, how severe they were and how they were caused. This could be valuable proof if you end up making a claim later.

5. Inform the Insurer

If a third party was to blame for the accident, and your bicycle was damaged, you might be able to claim some damages against the other driver’s vehicle insurance. So, you will need to contact the insurer (this is why you already gathered to driver information in a previous step).

6. Find A Solicitor

If you have suffered any level of cycling crash injuries, or incurred any financial losses due to the accident and your injuries, you may be able to make a compensation claim. An accident and injury lawyer would be able to help you to make a claim.

7. Be Truthful

Don’t exaggerate your injuries, the damage to your bicycle, or the financial losses you have suffered. If a claim goes to court, you would likely be found out and this would jeopardise your legal position.

8. Don’t Sign Anything

The insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident might send you a letter. This letter may offer to provide you with free legal help to make a claim, and other benefits. However, don’t sign any documents until a solicitor has looked at them. You could be limiting the liability of the insurer if you do.

9. Think Before Accepting an Out of Court Settlement

In many cases, an insurance company will offer a pre-medical, out of court settlement to the victim of a cycling accident. However, you need to keep in mind that any such offer you are made, will not be taking into account your injuries, their severity and whether they will have any long-term negative effect on your life. Unless your injuries were trivial, you would likely get more compensation by turning down this offer and making a full compensation claim.

10. Be Patient

The legal process of claiming compensation can take some time. Even if your solicitor deals with things quickly and efficiently, they could be left waiting for a response from the defendant’s legal team. Complex claims can take many months or even years to resolve. Your lawyer should give you regular updates about what is going on with your cycling accident claim.

Who Could be Liable for a Cycling Accident?

It is important that you understand the kinds of legal entities that might be liable to pay damages for a cycling accident. In all but a fatal cycling accident, this could also include you the cyclist. If you were not to blame for the accident, the kinds of third parties that could be, include:

  • Another driver – this could be the driver of a car, lorry, van, bus, taxi, motorcycle, or any other road user.
  • The passenger of a vehicle – including a passenger on a bus or some form of public transport, or the pillion passenger on a motorcycle.
  • A pedestrian – when a person is walking on a public road or pavement, and they cause a hazard which results in a road traffic accident, they could be liable.
  • The owner of an animal – such as a pet dog that has escaped, a farm animal that has strayed onto the road, or a horse rider. If the animal causes an accident the owner could be liable.
  • A Government organisation – including the local highways authority and the local council. If a government organisation causes a road hazard, and this results in a cycling accident, they could be liable. This includes hazards such as damaged road surfaces and potholes.
  • A privately-owned company – if a business causes a road traffic hazard, and this, in turn, causes a cycling accident, the company could be liable for compensation.

These are the main kinds of legal entities that could be liable for damages if they are responsible for causing a bicycle accident. There could be others, and a solicitor would be able to tell you just who is liable in your own case.

Do You Need to Make a Claim?

If you are harmed in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, then you could in the right circumstances, be able to make a cycling accident claim. You have a couple of options here. You could approach a solicitor directly and engage them to help make your claim. Or you could get in touch with a claims management firm, who will find the right solicitor for your claim and handle everything for you. Both have advantages, but using a claims firm is the easier option. A claims form might also be able to offer you a No Win, No Fee deal, meaning you won’t have to pay any solicitors fees unless your claim is a success.

Cycling Accidents – Some Final Thoughts

The takeaway here is that this page has given you a framework for dealing with the post-accident situation. If you were to witness a fatal cycling accident today involving a person you were riding with, you should now be equipped to manage it effectively.

And of course, you are now in a position to follow the proper protocol if you, yourself become the victim of a bicycle accident, whether you intend to make a compensation claim for the accident or not. Cycling is a fun source of exercise and a great way to travel, either commuting or long distance. You can now be confident that even in the worst case, if you are involved in a road traffic accident, you will manage the incident properly.

Further Information

We have included these external links, and all of these sites have some useful information you might like to check out:

Cycling Safety Information from Cycling UK

UK Government Information on the National Standard for Cycle Training

2018 Cycling Accident Statistics from RoSPA