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Dan Walker "glad to be alive" after being hit by a driver while cycling

The Channel 5 presenter shared photos of his bloodied face after "getting hit by a car" this morning...

Broadcaster and presenter Dan Walker was injured in a collision while cycling this morning, sharing pictures from the back of an ambulance.

The former BBC Breakfast host who now works for Channel 5 took up cycling last year, citing the faster commuting times in London versus hailing a cab, and said he had a "bit of an accident this morning" and was "glad to be alive after getting hit by a car on my bike".

Walker shared pictures of his facial injuries, which he described as a "mess" but added that he does not think he suffered any broken bones in the collision.

It is unclear where the incident occurred, with the BBC reporting its former employee lives in Sheffield and the pictures were taken in a Yorkshire Ambulance Service vehicle

In previous interviews about cycling, Walker has talked about enjoying cycling through London to get to work.

 Speaking to the Mirror about taking up cycling last year, Walker said: "It's an eco thing."

> Cycling celebrities — famous folk who love to ride their bikes

"'I've worked in London and taxis are a nightmare and I started to get around on the bike. I can go from Downing Street to St Pancras in about 15 minutes, and it's about 30 minutes in a taxi so although I feel like a bit of a geek sometimes, I'm very much enjoying it."

 "Face is a mess but I don't think anything is broken," he told his Twitter followers after this morning's incident, attracting messages of support from Jeremy Vine and DCS Andy Cox among others.

"Thanks to Shaun and Jamie for sorting me out and the lovely copper at the scene. This is my [sic] smiling. Thankful for our NHS"

The BBC's reporting of the incident has attracted criticism from some. BBC South East said Walker had suffered his injuries after "colliding with a car while cycling" despite him saying he had been "hit by a car [driver]".

Another reply added: "Who edits this stuff? Unless you think 'BBC breakfast host eats chicken' is the same as 'chicken eats BBC breakfast host' the words you choose matter. Try replacing 'car' with 'driver' too".

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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71 comments

Avatar
IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
6 likes

Helmet function in that crash - protecting Dan's head when he was clipped and fell to the ground.

Most likely cause of death having watched that crash, would be being crushed under the car, causing broken back, rib fractures, lung punctures, massive internal bleeding. 

The reason Dan is not dead is that the car managed to stop in time - possibly also he was protected by his bike jamming under the front of the car. It is also noticeable that neither car is going particularly quickly, looks like a 5mph or less difference with the car that hit him. so I am guessing the car was doing 20mph or less. In this case the fall was probably little difference in impact as a cyclist hitting a pothole (or crossing a Sheffield tramline) and coming off.

The helmet did the job it was supposed to do, protecting a cyclist's head when falling off a bike. The helmet would have made no difference if the motorist had failed to react, as it would not have protected Dan's head from the crushing effect of a wheel or engine.

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IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
5 likes

Well, Dan was taking a strong position in a lane, as he was entitled. The undertaking car, well, he stayed in a lane and did not encroach on Dan, who at that point was content to follow his lane, so I am not going to get too excited, I have that around complex, multi-lane, multiple exit roundabouts. As long as lanes unravel correctly, then that's what we do- these days most roundabouts have that, rather than expecting you to change lanes.

Dan was clearly in view of the offending car who was presumably just not seeing - as we can see from the video, Dan is highly visible, even in the distance of a wide angle parcelshelfstucktothewindowordanglingaroundcam. Sheer negligence. You can also see that aside from being flung to the ground, Dan was very nearly crushed under the wheels of the car. That was not a minor injury accident, that was a potentially fatal accident, and someone who is unconscious for 25 minutes has most likely suffered from a serious brain injury with the potential for long term effects.

No doubt not really a problem for the CPS as it clearly was a momentary lapse of concentration leading to a momentary misjudgement, so not the drivers fault, really.*

*Do I have to flag the sarcasm here? 

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Mungecrundle | 1 year ago
8 likes

Please make it stop!

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brooksby | 1 year ago
11 likes

OK, I've had a nice cup of tea after yesterday's pile-on from Martin and Shutthefrontdawes.

I stand by my comment that a bike helmet is not comparable to a seatbelt or airbags (OK, 'comparable', as STFD wrote, because 'they are similar in some ways', but by that definition then so is having a roll of bubblewrap strapped to my back).

Airbags and seatbelts are tested to a standard and intended to definitely protect or even save the driver or passenger of a car in the event of a car crash; the standard for a bike helmet is to protect or even save you in the event of a fall onto a flat surface from about head height.

I have never encouraged people not to wear a helmet, nor have I said that a helmet will not protect you from any injuries.

I have never implied that anyone wearing a helmet is foolish or deluding themselves (saying that someone admitting to having no memory of a crash but then insisting that their helmet saved their life seems odd, is not at all the same thing).

I wear a helmet.  I agree that it might protect me from some injuries in the event of my coming off my bike, but I also do not believe that it would save my life if I was run over by someone driving a car.

I think I need to take a break now.

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chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
6 likes

Oh good lord!  Yes, but why even light the touchpaper?

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like
chrisonatrike wrote:

Oh good lord!  Yes, but why even light the touchpaper?

I actually spat my tea out when I saw the picture. If I knew how to do the clap emoji on here you'd be getting one.

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:

OK, I've had a nice cup of tea after yesterday's pile-on from Martin and Shutthefrontdawes.

I stand by my comment that a bike helmet is not comparable to a seatbelt or airbags (OK, 'comparable', as STFD wrote, because 'they are similar in some ways', but by that definition then so is having a roll of bubblewrap strapped to my back).

Airbags and seatbelts are tested to a standard and intended to definitely protect or even save the driver or passenger of a car in the event of a car crash; the standard for a bike helmet is to protect or even save you in the event of a fall onto a flat surface from about head height.

I have never encouraged people not to wear a helmet, nor have I said that a helmet will not protect you from any injuries.

I have never implied that anyone wearing a helmet is foolish or deluding themselves (saying that someone admitting to having no memory of a crash but then insisting that their helmet saved their life seems odd, is not at all the same thing).

I wear a helmet.  I agree that it might protect me from some injuries in the event of my coming off my bike, but I also do not believe that it would save my life if I was run over by someone driving a car.

I think I need to take a break now.

The fact you say they're not comparable but go on to compare them is hilarious. Was that irony by accident, or on purpose?

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hawkinspeter replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 1 year ago
4 likes
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:

The fact you say they're not comparable but go on to compare them is hilarious. Was that irony by accident, or on purpose?

Comparable usually means "of equivalent quality, worthy of comparison".
"Compare" can be used to note similarities or differences, so it's possible to compare anything with anything else.

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:

The fact you say they're not comparable but go on to compare them is hilarious. Was that irony by accident, or on purpose?

Comparable usually means "of equivalent quality, worthy of comparison".
"Compare" can be used to note similarities or differences, so it's possible to compare anything with anything else.

I suppose it depends on what dictionary you use, but mine (Collins) has "can reasonably be compared".

The fact that Brooksby has compared helmets and seatbelts/airbags numerous times (it gets funnier each time by the way) tells me that yes, they are comparable.

I never said they are the same. And I have been very patient, deliberate and specific about the ways the two things are alike and different. So I don't think anyone can accuse me of suggesting that the two things are "of equivalent quality"; nor Martin for that matter. And we seem to disagree on far more than we agree on, so I give him credit there.

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Simon E replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
6 likes
brooksby wrote:

OK, I've had a nice cup of tea after yesterday's pile-on from Martin and Shutthefrontdawes.

Neither of them has anything positive to contribute, it seems, it's just noise.

My mother mentioned this incident when I rang her last night and her comment was "he said his helmet saved his life". I tried to explain that he doesn't actually know that and anyway they're not designed for being hit by 2 tonnes of metal. Why doesn't his tweet ask drivers to behave better? I told her that people hurt their head and even die falling off ladders etc but no-one tells people they ought to be wearing a helmet each time they touch a stepladder. There are many head injuries among car occupants but do they wear helmets? No, and no-one suggests they should. Is it time they did?

Perhaps the helmet did cushion Dan's noggin... but we don't know. Like you, I am 100% happy for people to wear a helmet, hi-viz etc if they feel it's appropriate or necessary. I have 3 cycle helmets but I really don't want to be scolded for not wearing one some of the time. It's my call so those helmet compulsionistas can f**k right off.

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hawkinspeter replied to Simon E | 1 year ago
4 likes

Definitely the take home message is that drivers need to be more careful on roundabout around cyclists, but I wouldn't blame Dan for not having the presence of mind to figure that out after a hit like that.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes

For me the take home message is as usual:

- if you don't build it they can't come (because they're afraid this will happen)
- if you don't build it well they won't bother to come (because everyone is sensible enough to see the "infra" is at best inconvenient - the brave ignore it and the rest don't cycle).

And the flip side:
 - if you build it for driving people will drive, and the amount of driving often increases to fill the available space.  That's not hard as motor vehicles are space-inefficient.

Meanwhile - lots of people cycling here and efficient traffic flow (impossible!):

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/the-oldest-grade-separated...

(Ideally there would simply be less motor traffic - that would make a same-grade roundabout possible - that's cheaper).

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chrisonabike replied to Simon E | 1 year ago
1 like
Simon E wrote:

... I have 3 cycle helmets ...

One to protect your head, the next to protect your helmet - but what's the 3rd one for?

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Backladder replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
4 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:
Simon E wrote:

... I have 3 cycle helmets ...

One to protect your head, the next to protect your helmet - but what's the 3rd one for?

To sit on the coffee table with an MC Escher waterfall on top of course!

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to Simon E | 1 year ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:

It's my call so those helmet compulsionistas can f**k right off.

Just for the record, I've never advocated for mandating helmet use, so if you're putting me in that bucket, you're the one that can f**k right off and get your facts straight.

All I've done is call out people who insinuate or outright claim that helmets don't protect your head in a collision. They do.

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marmotte27 replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 1 year ago
2 likes

"protect your head in a collision. They do."
A very bold claim in face of the available evidence.

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to marmotte27 | 1 year ago
0 likes
marmotte27 wrote:

"protect your head in a collision. They do."
A very bold claim in face of the available evidence.

What evidence is that then?

This is just one study that supports my statement:
The potential for cycle helmets to
prevent injury – a review of the
evidence;
D Hynd, R Cuerden, S Reid and S Adams which says that "Assuming that they are a good fit and worn correctly, cycle helmets should be effective at reducing the risk of head injury, in particular cranium fracture, scalp injury and intracranial (brain) injury."

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HoarseMann | 1 year ago
5 likes

The Sun have dashcam footage of the crash:
https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/21466140/moment-dan-walker-hit-by-car-bike-k...

It shows appalling road use by two drivers. The first undertakes Dan on the roundabout, preventing him moving over to the nearside lane if that was his exit. The second moving into his lane and ramming him from the rear. He wouldn't have seen it coming and didn't stand a chance.

£100 and three points FPN for the undertaking driver and a careless/dangerous driving charge for the driver who hit him - they need a ban and an extended re-test, at least 6 points and a hefty fine.

If the police don't take any action based on this clear evidence, the system is broken.

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hawkinspeter replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
3 likes
HoarseMann wrote:

The Sun have dashcam footage of the crash:
https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/21466140/moment-dan-walker-hit-by-car-bike-k...

It shows appalling road use by two drivers. The first undertakes Dan on the roundabout, preventing him moving over to the nearside lane if that was his exit. The second moving into his lane and ramming him from the rear. He wouldn't have seen it coming and didn't stand a chance.

£100 and three points FPN for the undertaking driver and a careless/dangerous driving charge for the driver who hit him - they need a ban and an extended re-test, at least 6 points and a hefty fine.

If the police don't take any action based on this clear evidence, the system is broken.

From the Granduia article (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2023/feb/21/helmet-saved-my-life-says-dan-walker-after-bike-collided-with-car), it's not clear what action the police are taking, but they consider it a "minor injury collision" and are not providing details. (That article is just as bad as the BBC's one by the way).

In my view the message from this is that drivers must be patient on roundabouts and not attempt overtakes of cyclists.

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ChrisB200SX replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
4 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

From the Granduia article (https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2023/feb/21/helmet-saved-my-life-says-dan-walker-after-bike-collided-with-car), it's not clear what action the police are taking, but they consider it a "minor injury collision" and are not providing details. (That article is just as bad as the BBC's one by the way).

In my view the message from this is that drivers must be patient on roundabouts and not attempt overtakes of cyclists.

So the police said the helmet saved his life but they also think it's only a minor injury collision. Hmm, that doesn't seem to equate.

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TriTaxMan replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
5 likes

And the Daily Heil have appeared with their usual victim blaming headline

"Dashcam captures moment Dan Walker was knocked out cold when the rear wheel of his bike caught car's front wing"

I'm not going to link to that drivel

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hawkinspeter replied to TriTaxMan | 1 year ago
6 likes
TriTaxMan wrote:

And the Daily Heil have appeared with their usual victim blaming headline

"Dashcam captures moment Dan Walker was knocked out cold when the rear wheel of his bike caught car's front wing"

I'm not going to link to that drivel

Should have had a mirror on it

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HoarseMann replied to TriTaxMan | 1 year ago
6 likes
TriTaxMan wrote:

And the Daily Heil have appeared with their usual victim blaming headline

Oh lordy, I looked. Even with that clear video evidence, most commenters are blaming the cyclist. Seems like a good proportion of DM readers need their driving licences revoked.

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TriTaxMan replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
3 likes
HoarseMann wrote:

Oh lordy, I looked. Even with that clear video evidence, most commenters are blaming the cyclist. Seems like a good proportion of DM readers need their driving licences revoked.

I just won't go down the route of looking at the comments in the DM as they will be a bin fire of victim blaming.  I'll just save myself that distress

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giff77 replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
4 likes
HoarseMann wrote:
TriTaxMan wrote:

And the Daily Heil have appeared with their usual victim blaming headline

Oh lordy, I looked. Even with that clear video evidence, most commenters are blaming the cyclist. Seems like a good proportion of DM readers need their driving licences revoked.

I threw myself into the circus/arena to have a quick gander and yes the comments regarding road craft were unreal. If not the surrender of their licenses,  they need to at least sit a series of refresher courses. 

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Awavey replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
5 likes

Im not too bothered with the driver/car on the leftside on that kind of roundabout, even if theyve cut the lines, if Dan wanted to be in that left lane to exit, either youve got to indicate or be in that lane from the start, (theres an interesting roundabout video that both Ashley Neal and Blackbeltbarrister have covered about crossing lanes near exits Im surprised hasnt come up on here already).  If youre on that right hand lane, youve got to hold position, and if you dont like being out there, then dont get in it in the first place.

the car that hit him, I dont know what they were playing at, they crossed the lanes ( back to dont cross lanes on an exit) didnt indicate they were doing anything, how did they not see him in front of them (albeit in that light in those conditions I wouldnt be wearing a black jacket - controversial opinion I know) but did they just assume he would veer left out of their way or were otherwise distracted ? at one point you think theyre going to the next exit. that should be a careless driving charge for the fact it involved injury that required hospital treatment.

as for was knocked out for 25mins, thats a serious concussion, should result in mri scan to check for bleeds on the brain, yeah I imagine he's gone wow without my helmet that would have been worse...but not going to enter into that debate.

but theres no f*****g way Id be cycling on that roundabout.

 

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HoarseMann replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
2 likes
Awavey wrote:

Im not too bothered with the driver/car on the leftside on that kind of roundabout, even if theyve cut the lines,

To me it seems to be a very poor move to undertake a cyclist like that. I take BBB or AN's opinion's with a pinch of salt, they both seem a bit wide of the mark sometimes.

I also wonder where that undertaking car came from? To me, it looks like the driver might have used the left-turn lane to go straight ahead, if so, that is inconsiderate driving at the very least. From the images in The Sun, could this be the same vehicle?:

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Awavey replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
1 like

they havent reviewed this yet, though Im sure they will, it was just theyd highlighted something few weeks back which I think we do more as cyclists than drivers from a nearmiss at a multilane roundabout, which is crossing into a lane to take an exit because that line is easier to ride than adopting the lane immediately entering the roundabout and following it all the way around.

And its really that exact issue here, the driver that hit Dan is crossing a lane to take an exit, because it was the easier (quicker?) line to drive, whereas had they adopted the lane they wanted immediately on entering the roundabout, theyd end up square behind Dan and might then have paid more attention to him.

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quiff replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
2 likes
Awavey wrote:

the driver that hit Dan is crossing a lane to take an exit, because it was the easier (quicker?) line to drive, whereas had they adopted the lane they wanted immediately on entering the roundabout, theyd end up square behind Dan and might then have paid more attention to him.

I don't think it's necessarily done deliberately for their convenience - I think on larger multi-lane roundabouts like this, a lot of people struggle to follow the correct lane from entry all the way to exit. I used to regularly drive around Hanger Lane gyratory. For the route I took, there were two possible lanes on entry, which then split so that there were three possible lanes you could use for my desired exit (and six lanes in total at that point). I am sure I got it wrong myself on occasion, but I had a number of near misses with people barrelling around there and merging into my lane apparently without even knowing they had done so.         

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HoarseMann replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
1 like
Awavey wrote:

if Dan wanted to be in that left lane to exit, either youve got to indicate or be in that lane from the start
...
but theres no f*****g way Id be cycling on that roundabout

Looking at Dan's position entering the roundabout, I think he's intending to turn right onto the ring road, not continue ahead as the undertaking vehicle did. If that's the case, he is in the leftmost lane for his exit. You could argue he should be indicating right there to show he's continuing around, but it wouldn't have made any difference to the collision occurring.

As for the roundabout, I've negotiated worse. At least the speed limit here is 40mph, many multi-lane roundabouts are 70mph and drivers don't seem to want to slow down for a cyclist. I think my preference would still be to use the cycle subway, but if I was running late for the train, I could be tempted to stick to the road as I'm sure it's a lot quicker.

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