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Keep calm and try and follow these steps

Though at times it might not seem like it, the chances of being knocked off your bike are, thankfully, low. According to the Department for Transport’s road casualty figures for 2017, only 5,604 cyclists are killed or injured in a reported accident on a public road per billion miles travelled. Even so, it pays to have a clear idea of what to do next should it happen to you.

The following advice applies when you or someone you’re riding with has been involved in a collision. For medical advice on what to do if a riding buddy has crashed, see here.

 

Step 1: Get somewhere safe

If you’ve hit the deck, your first priority is to get yourself somewhere safe. In its top ten tips for after a crash, Cycling UK advises that if you are unable to move out of harm’s way, “then shout, wave or whistle to attract assistance.”

 

Police car flashing lights (CC licensed by Lee Haywood)

Step 2: Request emergency assistance

Both Cycling UK and British Cycling recommend that all incidents are reported to the police immediately.

In an emergency, telephone 999. If you are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 18000.

Guidelines state that you should use these numbers if:

  • A crime is happening right now
  • Someone is in immediate danger, or there is a risk of serious damage to property
  • A suspect for a serious crime is nearby
  • There is a traffic collision involving serious injury or danger to other road users

Otherwise call 101 for police or 111 for medical advice if your injuries do not require immediate assistance.

Never assume a road incident is ‘too trivial’ to call in, because the research based on these records is critical for road design and the future safety of cyclists.

 

Step 3: Get everyone’s details

If you’ve been involved in a collision with another road user, take down their details. It is a legal requirement that they provide them.

You’ll want to get the contact and insurance details of the driver(s), plus the make, model and registration number of their vehicle(s) – car details can be hugely valuable in the unlikely event the driver provides bogus personal information.  

Cycling UK recommends getting someone to help you with this process, pointing out that you’ll need to get the contact details of independent witnesses anyway. “If you are injured and struggling, and anyone appears remotely sympathetic, then ask that ‘Good Samaritan’ to collect contact details and stop the driver or potential witnesses from leaving.”

Make a note of the time and place of the incident as well. You can take details down on your phone or borrow a bit of paper. If you really don’t have any other option, then write it all down on your hand.

Get the number of the attending police officer and their current duty station. Ask them for the police reference number and a copy of their police collision investigation report, including sketch diagrams and photographs.

It is important to stay calm when speaking to police. Cycling UK points out that, “police officers are invariably motorists and may have heard a different version of events from the uninjured and calm motorist who has just run you over. Make sure the officer writes down the correct version by asking them to read over their notes to you.”

The charity also recommends making “polite but persistent inquiries” as to the prosecution process against a guilty driver because some officers will otherwise be inclined to treat a cycling injury as a relatively minor matter.

 

Step 4: Don’t admit liability

“You should not have any discussion with the other party with regard to liability,” advises British Cycling. The reason is that even meaningless knee-jerk British apologies could be used against you later as an admission of liability.

In addition to this, Cycling UK advises you to beware of the ‘professional delinquent driver’, who will quickly reposition their vehicle so its new location appears innocent, often on the pretext of ‘moving it out of the way’. “Embarrass that driver by loudly pointing out this ploy to passers-by,” they recommend.

 

Step 5: Gather your own evidence

Your main form of evidence in the immediate aftermath of a collision will be photographs.

“Take as many shots as you can of the scenario, number plates, drivers involved, and passers-by, even if you are lying on the ground,” says Cycling UK. “Key components will be parked cars, as they can be moved inadvertently, sometimes by the police, but also kerbs, drains, painted lines, lamp posts to ‘fix’ distance, skid marks, road scratchings, direction of travel, ‘approaches’, etc.”

Look around for CCTV cameras too. Make a note of any and pass this information on to police.

You are legally allowed to access CCTV footage in which you appear, but this doesn’t mean it’s always easy to get hold of. Requests should be submitted in writing, but you’ll still be reliant on owners co-operating promptly before footage is deleted.

Acknowledging this, cycling accident specialists Cycling Accident Management Services (CAMS) say you are usually better off getting two or more independent witnesses. Gather their accounts as soon as you can. You should also sign, date and put a time on your account, and keep it safe.

 

Step 6: Seek medical attention

If you have suffered injury and you are able to, seek medical attention as soon as you can.

“Never shrug off any injuries, but insist on a full hospital check-up, and seek medical attention for any subsequent twinges,” advises Cycling UK.

British Cycling recommends keeping a record of any treatment, plus any costs associated with it. (E.g. prescription charges, bus and taxi fares, hospital parking fees, painkillers.)

You should also take photographs of cuts and bruises and continue doing so as time goes on so that you have a record of how long your injuries lasted.

 

Quad Lock Out Front Mount and GoPro Adapter - Go Pro from front.jpg

Step 7: Submit action cam footage to the police (if you have it)

Cyclists can upload footage of an incident using the Nextbase National Dash Cam Safety Portal and it is sent directly to their local police force (within England/Wales).

 

Step 8: Instruct a specialist solicitor

Membership of cycling organisations will often include access to free legal advice from lawyers who are experts in personal injury litigation.

The Cycling UK Incident Line provides free legal advice to all members.

You can speak to them about:

  • Personal injury claims for members
  • Personal injury claims for non-members
  • Incidents caused by road traffic incidents and poor road conditions, such as potholes
  • Injuries from incidents whilst commuting, off road cycling or even on holiday overseas

Visit the Cycling UK Incident Line website for more information or call anytime on 0844 736 8452.

Similarly, most British Cycling membership packages ensure that individuals are insured against incidents which are, or are alleged to have been, their fault.

The organisation also provides access to lawyers who are experts in helping those who have sustained injury, financial losses or damage to their bike as a result of incidents which were not their fault.

You can report an incident to British Cycling via their online form or call 0161 274 2015.

If you’re not a member of either organisation, specialists such as CAMS can compile a comprehensive accident report on your behalf with a view to recovering all your losses, from lost earnings to personal belongings.

CAMS have a claim form on their website and will usually be in touch within 12 hours.

 

Step 9: Claim for a replacement bike

If your bike is damaged or destroyed and the collision wasn’t your fault, you can make a claim.

CAMS will replace your bike and helmet upfront through your local bike shop. They cover the initial costs, so the process takes just days. This takes a lot of the hassle out of pursuing a claim and also means you don’t have to wait for the insurance company to pay out.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

15 comments

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Crashboy [99 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Interesting: but as a cyclist, is there any guidance abour what details you give to the driver?

 

I was under the understanding that with a car crash you only had to give insurance company details , make and model, and surname  which is enough for the other party's company to find and contact you; surely you wouldn't give out your address / phone numbers to a stranger (unless you don't want to involve the insurers) - I certainly wouldn't want to be giving out my personal phone number or address to a muppet who has just clanged into me...call me paranoid if you want, but if the claim  / argument turned nasty you wouldn't want someone to be able to come knocking at your door or ringing you direct about it - that's what you pay insurers for!

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srchar [1704 posts] 1 month ago
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No legal obligation for a cyclist to stop at the scene of an incident, never mind give their details.

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Crashboy [99 posts] 1 month ago
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srchar wrote:

No legal obligation for a cyclist to stop at the scene of an incident, never mind give their details.

I'm assuming you have "sarcasm mode" engaged on that post? Because if that is a fact, it seems a bit crazy to me - as predominantly a cyclist rather than a driver - that if we use the "we are as equally entitled to use the road as much as cars / lorries etc" argument if we don't have the same responsibilites?

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Secret_squirrel [98 posts] 1 month ago
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Question.  How do C-AMS differ from the Compensation culture driven Ambulance chasers that infest the Motor Insurance sector?

Genuinely asking - just because they represent cyclists - they also off a similar service for Drivers - doesn't mean they are angels.  Maybe they are, maybe they arent.

Anyone have any evidence either way?  Marginal claim turned down for example?

 

(Bitter because I got ambulance chased after I knocked over a pedestrian on my bike.  Too long a story for here)

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hirsute [1356 posts] 1 month ago
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Crashboy wrote:
srchar wrote:

No legal obligation for a cyclist to stop at the scene of an incident, never mind give their details.

I'm assuming you have "sarcasm mode" engaged on that post? Because if that is a fact, it seems a bit crazy to me - as predominantly a cyclist rather than a driver - that if we use the "we are as equally entitled to use the road as much as cars / lorries etc" argument if we don't have the same responsibilites?

Responsibility is not the same as legal obligation though.

Plenty of traffic laws that don't apply eg speed limits, various road markings

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LastBoyScout [680 posts] 1 month ago
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When I got knocked off the motorbike last year, I didn't get any pictures of the scene/car involved, for a few reasons:

  • ambulance crew insisted on treating me first in case of any serious injuries (fair enough)
  • CCTV from local garage deleted before incompetent insurers requested it
  • Helpful driver with dash cam footage apparently vanished without giving contact details to me/police

Ambulance crew were pretty swift on scene, as had been attending another case nearby. By the time I'd made sure I was generally ok, bike wasn't about to burst into flames, the other driver was ok and I'd retrieved my bag with phone in, I was checked over by them.

I'd expected the policeman that turned up (again, just around the corner), to have done a bit more than just take 2 sets of details, hand it over to the insurers and wash his hands of it.

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hawkinspeter [4562 posts] 1 month ago
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Crashboy wrote:
srchar wrote:

No legal obligation for a cyclist to stop at the scene of an incident, never mind give their details.

I'm assuming you have "sarcasm mode" engaged on that post? Because if that is a fact, it seems a bit crazy to me - as predominantly a cyclist rather than a driver - that if we use the "we are as equally entitled to use the road as much as cars / lorries etc" argument if we don't have the same responsibilites?

The Road Traffic Act 1988 (no idea if that's been superseded) https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/170 specifies that it's an offence for a driver of the mechanically propelled vehicle to not stop and give details if asked. I can't find any other applicable law for cyclists/pedestrians/skaters etc.

Cyclists don't have the same responsibilities on the road as they are nowhere near as dangerous and presumably there hasn't been any particular need to change the law. It's a similar situation with traffic laws - most of them weren't introduced until motor vehicles became popular even though roads previously had plenty of cyclists and horses.

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Crashboy [99 posts] 1 month ago
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hawkinspeter wrote:
Crashboy wrote:
srchar wrote:

No legal obligation for a cyclist to stop at the scene of an incident, never mind give their details.

I'm assuming you have "sarcasm mode" engaged on that post? Because if that is a fact, it seems a bit crazy to me - as predominantly a cyclist rather than a driver - that if we use the "we are as equally entitled to use the road as much as cars / lorries etc" argument if we don't have the same responsibilites?

The Road Traffic Act 1988 (no idea if that's been superseded) https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/170 specifies that it's an offence for a driver of the mechanically propelled vehicle to not stop and give details if asked. I can't find any other applicable law for cyclists/pedestrians/skaters etc.

Cyclists don't have the same responsibilities on the road as they are nowhere near as dangerous and presumably there hasn't been any particular need to change the law. It's a similar situation with traffic laws - most of them weren't introduced until motor vehicles became popular even though roads previously had plenty of cyclists and horses.

 

Fair enough and thanks for the link: our laws are out of date in many areas, (and re-active as opposed to proactive) and I guess you're right that there perhaps haven't been cases which have set precedence etc.  

Reading the Act via your link it seems I was wrong - I was under the impression that after an accident in a vehicle, you only had to give Name, Vehicle and Insurance details, but this excerpt clearly says name and address (unless you go the whole hog and report it to the Police).

I think that answers my question then: despite me not feeling it sits very well in the brave new GDPR world, and going against every instinct to give personal info to strangers as a cyclist we ought to be giving name and address too. 

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brooksby [5357 posts] 1 month ago
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Quote:

Never assume a road incident is ‘too trivial’ to call in, because the research based on these records is critical for road design and the future safety of cyclists.

When I wandered into New Bridewell in Bristol to report being doored by a taxi passenger, the next day, the staff on the front desk told me it wasn't reportable because it was the next day and I hadn't phoned them at the time.

I explained that I hadn't felt it necessary to call them at the time, and I was too busy trying to straighten my brakes and wipe up blood off my leg.

Plus I hadn't got a registration number and the passenger in question apparently didn't speak English (the taxi had sped off, as far as one can in Bristol rush hour traffic).

I felt like I had to really push to get them to even make a note of it to add to their road stats (I'd accepted that there was nothing actually 'police-y' they could do about it).

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hawkinspeter [4562 posts] 1 month ago
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brooksby wrote:
Quote:

Never assume a road incident is ‘too trivial’ to call in, because the research based on these records is critical for road design and the future safety of cyclists.

When I wandered into New Bridewell in Bristol to report being doored by a taxi passenger, the next day, the staff on the front desk told me it wasn't reportable because it was the next day and I hadn't phoned them at the time.

I explained that I hadn't felt it necessary to call them at the time, and I was too busy trying to straighten my brakes and wipe up blood off my leg.

Plus I hadn't got a registration number and the passenger in question apparently didn't speak English (the taxi had sped off, as far as one can in Bristol rush hour traffic).

I felt like I had to really push to get them to even make a note of it to add to their road stats (I'd accepted that there was nothing actually 'police-y' they could do about it).

I'd recommend reporting that kind of thing online instead - quicker and you don't have to deal with front desk staff.

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Southy83 [15 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Bit of a shameless plug for my blog series about when I got knocked off a couple of years ago, which at present covers from the accident happening to the magistrates court where the driver was on trial.

Really need to get round to writing the bits post magistrates court in relation to the civil case.

http://tightwadcyclist.co.uk/hit-and-run/

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brooksby [5357 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:
brooksby wrote:
Quote:

Never assume a road incident is ‘too trivial’ to call in, because the research based on these records is critical for road design and the future safety of cyclists.

When I wandered into New Bridewell in Bristol to report being doored by a taxi passenger, the next day, the staff on the front desk told me it wasn't reportable because it was the next day and I hadn't phoned them at the time.

I explained that I hadn't felt it necessary to call them at the time, and I was too busy trying to straighten my brakes and wipe up blood off my leg.

Plus I hadn't got a registration number and the passenger in question apparently didn't speak English (the taxi had sped off, as far as one can in Bristol rush hour traffic).

I felt like I had to really push to get them to even make a note of it to add to their road stats (I'd accepted that there was nothing actually 'police-y' they could do about it).

I'd recommend reporting that kind of thing online instead - quicker and you don't have to deal with front desk staff.

Well, I know that now...

I remember that I said to the desk jockey that surely they needed to know that this had happened, for their road safety stats etc, and she asked 'why?'.

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ktache [2467 posts] 1 month ago
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Southy83/Tightwad, lucky you weren't badly hurt, fair enough eventual conclusion,

When I got properly hit one of my broken ribs punctured a lung.  That hurts.

Just wondering

"He also confirmed that he only passed his test three months before and because of this was unlikely to drive again"

before what?  According to him, he hadn't done anything.

And of course, what happened next?

 

 

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Southy83 [15 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

He was referring to the alleged incident. Throughout the trial he carefully worded any response in relation to the accident to deny it but not actually directly say he wasn't involved.

As to the civil case, the accident happened in January 2017, he was found guilty in November 2017 but due to continually denying it to his insurers it dragged on until I got settlement in January 2019 (two years and one day from the accident, it would have been two years exactly but the cheque was sent by Royal Mail and I wasn't in to receive it).

I think he may have been on the hook for quite a bit from the insurers side as they would not indemnify him. I got £3,400 and nearly three years on I do not appear to have any issues with the ribs, although I avoid contact sports now and focus on riding/Triathlon.

The kicker being that he has a child that goes to one of my children's pre-school so I sometimes see him about. So that gets a bit awkward. Neither of us has engaged the other and I am slightly worried that my daughter gets too friendly with his.

Avatar
srchar [1704 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Crashboy wrote:
srchar wrote:

No legal obligation for a cyclist to stop at the scene of an incident, never mind give their details.

I'm assuming you have "sarcasm mode" engaged on that post? Because if that is a fact, it seems a bit crazy to me - as predominantly a cyclist rather than a driver - that if we use the "we are as equally entitled to use the road as much as cars / lorries etc" argument if we don't have the same responsibilites?

No, I have "fact mode" engaged.

Responsibility != legal obligation. We are equally entitled to use the road as drivers (in fact I'd argue moreso, as we don't need to be licenced) but are far less hazardous to other road users, so have commensurately fewer legal obligations.

And that comes from a proper petrolhead, owning 3 cars, only one of which is practical. But then I believe that fast driving should be saved for the track and try to avoid driving on the roads at all, as it is a miserable activity.