Cycling in Europe this summer?

28th July 2020 Personal Injury

Now that the foreign travel restrictions are easing, ferries and flights are starting to operate again, and traveller confidence is growing, many cyclists are planning their trips over to the continent to enjoy the miles in the warm weather. Here at JMW we have a long tradition of representing cyclists, and we want to encourage people to get on their bikes and enjoy exploring. 

However, as well as the Covid challenges we are also facing an unprecedented time as we come to the end of the transitional period for Britain to leave the EU on the 31.12.2020. Whilst we expect leisure travel to EU countries will continue with ease after the end of the year, the legal relationships we have will dramatically chance, meaning cyclists who are injured in Europe may have a harder battle to receive compensation for their cycling accident, including injuries and damaged bikes if they do not act quickly and bring proceedings before the end of 2020. 

Data shows that there were 2160 cyclist deaths in the EU in 2018 and 32,000 cyclists were seriously injured. In Spain cyclist deaths have been increasing by 1% annually from 2010 to 2018. The European Transport Safety Council, a non profit organisation dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries involving transport in Europe, highlight the fact that cyclist’s collisions are underreported in police reports, and there is a lack of data on km cycled per country, making it difficult to understand the real risks.

Our top tips for cycling in Europe this summer –

  • Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance, that covers you and your bike, for the trip in case the worst happens
  • Apply for your EHIC card, or make sure it is up to date- this scheme, which gives you the right to state provided healthcare in other EU countries, is still in force until 31.12.2020 so make sure you have a Valid card
  • Research the local rules of the road before you travel – in fact some of our European neighbours road laws are more favourable to cyclists, putting more of the onus on the drivers of motor vehicles to ensure the safety of other road users
  • If you are involved in, or witness, a road traffic collision make sure you report to the local police and ask what formalities you have to comply with, in some countries it is mandatory to complete a written form, known as a constat.
  • Take photographs of the scene, and ask the other driver for his licence and take a photograph of that (it is compulsory for drivers to carry a copy in many countries).
  • Notify your travel insurers straight away, they may be able to provide you with assistance as well as medical access.
  • Seek legal advice as soon as you can, so you can protect your position as there may only be limited time for you to bring your claim in the courts in England and Wales.

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Joanne Brine is a Partner located in Manchesterin our Personal Injury department

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