What to do if you have a bicycle accident

Top tips for what to do after a collision

With unprecedented numbers of cyclists taking to UK roads, knowing what to do if you’re involved in a collision or accident on your bike is a key consideration.  

BikeRadar spoke to two cycle insurance specialists, Total Cycle Assist and Cycleguard, about their top tips for riders unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident that leaves them with minor cuts, bruises and a bashed up bike. For more serious incidents, attending to injuries is the overriding priority.  

1. Get clear and safe

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

2. Ask for details

Williams said it was important to follow the same drill car drivers would in a collision – that means collecting information: “Exchange details with driver and witnesses, including 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 added. “Even if you don’t think there is damage, take details anyway in case you spot something later on.”

3. Gather supporting evidence

Insurers like as much detail as possible about the nature of the incident. Using a smartphone, capture some shots or footage of the scene and damage, said Adrian Scott, head of Cycleguard. 

“If you need to make a claim on your cycle insurance policy, submit a claim form with accurate details of the incident – together with any supporting information, such as photographs of the surrounding area or footage from your helmet camera – as soon as possible,” he said.

4. Go for a check-up

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

5. Speak to insurers first

After the dust has settled on the incident – hopefully with no lasting physical effects – Scott advises not entering into correspondence with the third party, as it might affect the claim. The first call should be to the insurers, not the bike shop. 

“Don’t attempt to repair or replace a damaged bike without speaking to your insurers first, as this might impact upon your claim,” Scott said.

For more information on what to do after a cycling accident see our forum thread.

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