If you've had an accident, get
your bike and yourself to Re-Cycle Engineering - we'll refer you to a solicitor.
She ONLY deals with bicycle claims and it wont cost you.
We can also do a 50+ point
Accident Report for her.
Let's get a couple
or four things clear:
In our experience,
those cyclists who wear reflective clothing, a crash helmet & have suitable
lights are far, far less likely to be involved in a crash and suffer
significantly less injuries.
Helmets: The debate on cycle
helmets as raged on for many years. For many years I didn't wear a helmet (my
excuses used to be "they look silly", "they're too expensive", "they're only for
people who can't cycle", ...). Now, due to the anecdotal evidence of our
customers, I wouldn't think of going for a ride without the lid ("they're
good-looking, cheap and vital"). Some will say that a motorist, on seeing a
helmet-wearing cyclist will be less cautious.
least once a week we're asked to repair bikes involved in an accident with
(usually) a car - more so in the winter months and especially when the clock go
back in the autumn.
Here's a couple of
"I was knocked of my bike by an lady. Oh, she was so
sweet. She took me and my bike to her house, gave me a cup of tea and then took
me home. She even admitted that the accident was her fault and said that she
would pay for the damage. The situation gave me back my faith in humanity. I
then got my bike assessed for the repair (£90) and called her. Wow, what a
change. She became defensive and said that she was only willing to make a token
gesture of £30. I had to take her to court to get the full compensation."
direct cost of these repairs usually
range from £15 to £600. The indirect
cost can rise into the thousands of £££s - extra travel costs, lost income and
job loss (not forgetting permanent disability and death).
In a city like
Kingston-upon-Hull (flat terrain) there are a lot more cyclists per head of
population and consequentially, car drivers (and pedestrians) are far more aware
of pedal-powered road-users. They are therefore more cautious and considerate of
Leeds the matter is very different: less cyclists = less awareness.
So what should
you do to minimise the chances of being involved in an accident?
Drink and cycle (this has to be said
- in our experience too many cyclists threaten their, and others' safety after
a 'drink or three'.
Go out without reflective wear.
Go out (at dusk, night and dawn)
without lights and reflectors.
Go out without wearing a helmet.
Be intimidated by other road-users
Make sure that your bike is the right
Ensure that lights and reflectors are
kept clean and in good working order.
Keep your tyres in good condition and
inflated to the pressure shown on the tyre.
Have your gears set correctly.
Keep your chain properly adjusted and
Set the saddle and handlebars to the
Fit a bell to your cycle and use it.
Ensure your brakes are efficient .
Learn the Highway code (you have a
legal duty to know this as a road-user). Check out this
Increase your visibility - wear the
reflectives (9 out of 10 drivers involved in fatal collisions with cyclist say
they never saw them.
Get yourself into the correct
position on the road (keep away from the gutter, ride at a door's width away
from parked cars, place yourself either in front or behind a car at a junction -
especially when turning left). Car drivers don't want to tangle with you and
they'll be a lot more considerate and patient if you actions are predictable.
Make eye contact with other
road-users - they will alter their actions when they know that you've seen each
Ride assertively and smoothly - not
aggressively and nervously. Take the space YOU need on the road - as a
predictable rider you will be given that space.
Beware of taxis suddenly swerving to
the pavement to pick up/drop off passengers.
Beware of pedestrians stepping out
into the road without looking.
Beware of passengers emerging from in
front of stationary buses.
Be particularly aware of vehicles
turning left in front of you.
Look into parked cars for anyone
about to exit into your path.
Ride within the limits of your bike,
the road and your ability.
Of course this isn't a comprehensive
list - search the internet for more advice.
Be alert and use your common-sense.
Learn from others (and your own) actions and share your experiences.
Realise that you are benefiting from
the exercise, enjoying the endorphins and contributing to re-greening our
What should I do
if I am involved in an accident?
So, you're in the middle of the road
and looking up at the car. You're probably dazed and confused. Unfortunately,
this is the time to start thinking:
Don't get up immediately - spinal
injuries will be exacerbated if you move (get someone to call an ambulance if
you're not able to). Whatever your injuries, they'll feel a lot worse the
Check yourself gently and carefully
(arms, legs, head, shoulders, hips, neck, back, etc.).
If you're OK, get yourself to a safe
Make sure the car is stationary (by
law the driver MUST STOP if anyone is injured).
Identify the witnesses (or get
someone else to) and get their names, addresses and telephone numbers - ask them
what they saw so that the story doesn't change at a later time.
Use your camera phone to take some
If necessary, exercise some crowd &
traffic control (or get someone else to) - rubber-necking will only cause more
Call the police (the non-emergency
number for Yorkshire is 0845 60 60 60 6). For other areas try this
link. They will want to talk to you and the driver.
Now its time to talk to the driver -
get his/her name, address, telephone number, insurance details & policy number,
license plate and driving license number. If they are at fault, ask them to
admit it - people tend to change their minds when the realise the consequences
of their actions.
Make the driver wait for the police.
In the meantime, gather your thoughts and try to make written notes of the
incident - its very difficult to recall the incident at a later time. If the
police suggest that you need an ambulance, take their advice.
Take the police officer's details
(name, badge number, etc.) and ask for a copy of all statements (some officers
may not fully know your rights as a cyclist involved in a road traffic accident
so show a little patience).
Don't ride your bike (even if it can
be ridden) - get your bike and
yourself to Re-Cycle Engineering - we'll refer you to a solicitor - she
ONLY deals with cycle claims and it wont cost you. We can also do a
50+ point Accident Report for her.
If you got this far, well done! You
will be one of the very few cyclists that got compensated for an accident. Now,
get yourself well, put the ordeal behind you, and go for a ride.
Cut and paste the above into a
word-processor to format it onto a small card to carry in your purse/wallet.
Again, this isn't an exhaustive list
- your personal circumstances will dictate how you should act. You should
contact a legal professional for comprehensive advice. Please contact Re-Cycle
Engineering for any omissions/errors.
Please note: This
page (and the whole website) is under heavy construction - the content will
change and be added to in due time.
Updated on: 25/12/2009