Unfortunately accidents do happen and will undoubtedly be a stressful experience. Ensure that you are always prepared for this event. Always carry a first aid kit with you, a notebook and pen, camera (or camera phone) and your insurance details. It is also worth entering an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact on your phone. ICE should be stored in contacts ahead of the name, for example ICE Mark. Also available are dog tags or contact slips that go inside clothing and helmets.
Shouting and swearing will not help anyone and may make the matter worse. It may also put off potentially supportive witnesses. Remain as level headed as possible and take stock of the situation.
Get away from danger
Check that there are no immediate serious injuries. Get someone to alert other traffic. If needed move away from danger but never leave the scene until all details have been exchanged. Call 999 if necessary.
Often well meaning passers by will try and help lift up the bike for you. Skin and hot metal do not mix (and can be a real pain to clean off) so make sure your bike is lifted safely for all concerned.
Take photos of the area and record any witness statements and their contact details in your notebook. Take the other drivers insurance and contact details, number plate and photograph any damage to their vehicle.
Contact your insurance company
It is very important to do this as soon as possible as long delay in notifying them may affect your claim. Be aware of your policy details as you may be entitled to a replacement vehicle and a solicitor. Even if not there are companies that will represent individuals in non fault accidents.
Take your time
Where possible do not jump straight back on the bike but give yourself time to calm down. This will give time for adrenaline to wear off and to assess whether you have picked up any injuries.
What do I do if I see an accident ahead?
If you see or hear emergency vehicles ahead, there could be an accident.
DON’T slow down unnecessarily – for instance on a motorway or dual carriageway as this can cause another accident and/or congestion that impedes emergency vehicles.
What if I reach the scene of an accident before the emergency services?
– DO turn your hazard lights on and stay calm.
– DO check any engines are switched off and ensure nobody is smoking.
– DO call the emergency services and give location and casualty details.
– Use the emergency roadside phone on a motorway.
– If using a mobile on a motorway, check your location using the hard shoulder markers.
– DO move walking wounded to safety away from the scene.
– DO think about becoming a trained first aider – check the Highway Code for more details.
– DO stay at the scene until the emergency services arrive.
– DO stay well away from accidents involving dangerous goods or chemicals.
– DON’T use a mobile phone close to flammable cargo.
– DON’T move injured people from their vehicles unless there is danger of fire or explosion.
– DON’T remove a motorcyclist’s helmet unless absolutely essential.