What to do if you have a bicycle accident

Essential advice on what to do after a collision

Knowing what to do if you’re involved in a collision or accident on your bike is crucial for those who travel on two wheels. Often people simply do not know the correct process to take in this situation.

BikeRadarspoke to two cycle insurance specialists, Total Cycle Assist and Cycleguard, about their key tips for riders who are involved in accidents that leave them with minor cuts, bruises and a bashed-up bike. Of course, for more serious incidents, attending to injuries is the priority.  

Get clear and safe

The first thing to do is get clear of the road. Richard Williams, MD at Total Cycle Assist, says: “It sounds easy enough, but often people panic and don’t realise that getting clear of other traffic is a prime move.”

Ask for details

Williams says it's important to follow the same drill that car drivers would in a collision — this means collecting information: “Exchange details with the driver and witnesses, making sure you get the registration number of the vehicle – this is essential for managing claims efficiently. 

“If you’re claiming for damage to you or your bike, then you need the details of who ran into you,” he adds. “Even if you don’t think there is damage, take details anyway in case you spot something later on.”

Gather supporting evidence

Insurers like as much detail as possible about the nature of the incident. “If you need to make a claim on your cycle insurance policy, submit a claim form with accurate details of the incident as soon as you can," says Adrian Scott, head of Cycleguard.

"Include any supporting information, such as photographs of the surrounding area or footage from your helmet camera. Or use your phone to capture shots or footage of the scene and damage."

Go for a check-up

Sometimes injuries take time to reveal themselves, so it’s always worth booking a medical appointment to get checked over. “It always pays to get checked out at your doctors or at the hospital, even if you feel okay – injuries can materialise after hours or days,” says Williams.  

Speak to insurers first

After the dust has settled on the incident – hopefully with no lasting physical effects – Scott advises not to enter into correspondence with the third party, as it might affect the claim. "The first call should be to the insurers, not the bike shop," he says. “Don’t attempt to repair or replace a damaged bike without speaking to your insurers first, as this might impact upon your claim.”

For further reading on what to do after a cycling accident see this post from our forum

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