Diesel spills

Diesel Spill

In comparison to other road users, cyclists are at a higher risk of sustaining serious injury due to diesel spillages on a road surface. The contact the tyres on a bike have with the road surface is relatively small, especially with race bikes, so the combination of tyres hitting a diesel and cyclists’ general lack of protection can lead to significant injury.  

Spillage of diesel arises from a negligent act, perhaps overfilling the fuel tank or failing to secure the fuel cap properly.  Diesel spills are frequently found at roundabouts, where traffic flows quickly and motorists follow close behind each other. All too often, the driver who caused the spill has long since gone so how can you claim for personal injury and financial loss?

You can make a claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau under their Untraced Drivers Agreement.

If you‘re involved in an accident which is the result of diesel spillage, you should;

  1. Inform the police immediately and certainly within 14 days (5 days for property-only claims). 
  2. If you or someone in your party has been injured, ask the police to attend the accident scene and record the extent of the diesel spill.
  3. Inform the local council of the diesel spill and keep a note of that record, including the name of the person you spoke to.
  4. Obtain details of any witnesses at the scene and ask them to confirm the presence and extent of the diesel spill.
  5. Take photographs and measurements of the diesel spill.
  6. Note a full description of the accident scene including road number, direction of travel, speed on approach and weather conditions. Complete a sketch and retain this information

The MIB will consider your claim if the incident has been reported to the police within 14 days and the spillage is “large”. What constitutes “large” can be difficult to define but generally, if the local council is called in to cleanse the road or if the police officers in attendance consider the spillage a hazard, that should be sufficient.

If you have been involved in a cycle accident due to a diesel spill, you need expert advice - contact Cycle Law Scotland on 0333 555 7783