Monday, 30 September 2013

A cycle accident solicitor understands there is more than one victim

Motorist Gary McCourt was banned from driving for five years and ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service after being convicted of the death of cyclist Audrey Fyfe which resulted from a collision between his car and her bike. He had previously been jailed for causing the death of another cyclist, George Dalgity, as a consequence of reckless driving in 1985. Prosecutors said his sentence for causing the death of Mrs Fyfe was too lenient, but they failed in an appeal. As any cycle accident solicitor knows, the family members of a road accident victim want to ensure justice, particularly where their loved one has died. Mrs Fyfe's daughter, Aileen Brown, said she was "lost for words" at the failure of the appeal.

The issue of helmets

Lord Menzies said, in a written decision, that the appeal court "cannot disagree with the sheriff's categorisation of this as a momentary inattention, the result of which was a low impact, low speed collision with Mrs Fyfe's cycle.” He went on to note: “Despite the sheriff's error in treating the fact that Mrs Fyfe was not wearing a cycle helmet as a mitigatory factor, we are unable to say that the sentence of a community payback order with the maximum number of unpaid hours was unduly lenient.” The question of cyclists wearing helmets is often very contentious and it is interesting that this was raised in the appeal. A qualified cycle accident solicitor will be able to advise clients on the issue of helmets; whether or not this will affect their case.

The vulnerability of cyclists

According to research by the City of Westminster Council, over two thirds of crashes between drivers and cyclists are the fault of the motorist. Although the study may have only been a localised snapshot of the problem, it’s well known that collisions between cars and bicycles are responsible for a large number of cycling accidents, particularly fatal accidents. Even at slow speeds, the force of a motor vehicle hitting a bike and the lack of safety features on the latter means that cyclists are extremely vulnerable on the roads. They lack the benefit of seatbelts, airbags and crumple zones; all they have to survive a crash are helmets and protective clothing.

If you would like to talk to a cycle accident solicitor, simply call a member of the Cycle Aid team on 0800 387 815 or send an email to

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