Cycling is by no means a hobby without it’s risks.
We’ve already discussed how important wearing protective gear is, but no amount of protective gear will save you from a collision with another vehicle.
If you cycle on a daily basis then it’s only matter of time before you’re involved in some form of collision, either with another cyclist or a motorist. In a perfect world, if a cyclist is knocked down by a car, the driver would stop and both parties would swap details – with the driver perhaps offering the cyclist a lift. But this world, unfortunately, is not perfect – not even close. Sadly, drivers often think of their no-claims bonus on their insurance before they think of the well-being of the person that they just hit. As a result, cyclists are often knocked off their wheels and not even given a chance to get up. before the driver weighs up their odds and simply drives off.
Getting hit by a car can be a traumatic experience, the shock of being knocked off can often cause you to be a little dazed, so it’s best to always have a plan prepared in the eventuality that you are hit.
1) Take Your Time – Check For Injuries
If you’re wearing a helmet (which you should be) then your brain should be protected, but it’s always best to take your helmet and feel for any bruises.
Take your time getting up, if you’ve broken bones you might not notice until you put pressure on them. Give yourself a few minutes to catch your breath and make sure you don’t need any immediate medical attention.
2) Find The Driver
When you’ve got back to your feet you should find the driver as soon as possible. Try and remain dispassionate when you talk, avoid being apologetic as this may be seen as an admission that could be used against you later.
Introduce yourself and aim to keep the driver on the scene of the incident – take down details of their car, their license plate and phone number if possible.
When a cyclist is involved in a crash, passers-by usually stop to check that they are OK.
The people that come to your aid will often be invaluable as witnesses, make sure that you take down names and numbers of these people so that you can contact them at a later date.
Once you’ve collected details of the driver and any witnesses, it’s time to take some photos.
Get pictures of where you are, where the car is, the surrounding area and any damage to yourself or your property.
5) Contact the Police
If there has been any kind of damage to your property (ie. your bike, helmet, clothes, body) then you should contact the Police with the details you’ve taken down.
You don’t need to press charges to record an incident with the police and if you choose to not take action, the collision will be kept on the records for valuable statistics.
6) Visit A&E, GP or Walk-in Centre
Regardless of the severity of the collision, it’s always best to visit a medical professional to ensure that there’s nothing seriously wrong with you. When you’re involved in an accident your body can often react in a strange way.
An increase in adrenaline may well cause you to misinterpret a serious injury as just a bruise, always get checked out, preferably within 24 hours of the incident.