Riding a motorcycle can have many benefits over driving a car—it’s cheaper, time-efficient, and fun. However, bikers are at significantly greater risk on the road than car drivers; in fact, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured in an accident than car passengers are and 27 times more likely to die in a crash. So it’s important for motorcyclists to be prepared for the worst.
Knowing how to react in the immediate aftermath of a motorcycle accident is vital. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Get Out of the Way
Nothing is more important than your safety. So the first thing to do after a crash is remove yourself from the danger zone. Unlike the case for car passengers, your movement most likely won’t be impeded by your vehicle; but also unlike them, you have no framework around you to shield you even partially from other fallout the crash may have.
So before trying to assess damage or call for help, get out of traffic, get to the side of the road, and do whatever is necessary to put yourself in a safer situation.
2. Call 911
Even if the crash isn’t major, you must call the emergency services right away. They will be required to fill out an accident report and document data regarding the accident. Be sure to ask for a copy of the report too.
3. Stay Calm
Road accidents are scary, but remaining calm is essential. As well as getting yourself out of immediate danger, you must consider internal injuries and related problems. Do NOT remove your helmet or leathers unless absolutely necessary. This could exacerbate injuries, particularly those that you haven’t noticed due to adrenaline, so you must avoid causing additional strain on your neck, head, or spine and wait for professional medical help.
4. Seek Medical Help
Even if it feels like nothing is wrong, it’s always best to take precautions by visiting the hospital. Concussions, internal bleeding, and a range of other injuries could go unnoticed for several days unless you get checked over by a doctor. If an injury is present, a rapid response will give you the best chance of a full and speedy recovery.
If nothing else, getting the all-clear will put your mind at ease.
5. Collect Contact Information
Following the accident, you may need to go through a legal process relating to your injuries or vehicle damages. Whether seeking justice in regards to your finances or innocence, it will be necessary to gain statements and accounts from others. Because of this, you should record contact details from any motorists directly involved in the crash, as well as from any eyewitnesses.
6. Speak to an Attorney
It’s imperative that you speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you are seeking any compensation for medical costs. And if you are called by another party’s lawyer or insurance agency who is seeking information about the crash, you should wait to disclose your perspective of what happened or any details (other than basic insurance information) until you have consulted with an attorney. Any details you disclose about the incident can be used against you in future legal battles, so even if the situation seems clear-cut to you, you’ll need to choose your wording carefully so it can’t be misconstrued or misrepresented.
7. Write Everything Down
Your memories can become a little hazy over time. Sadly, forgetting a single detail could be costly, which is why you should write down your best account of the situation as soon as possible. You’ll also need to keep meticulous records of any costs you pay for medical bills, repairs, rentals, etc., in relation to the accident. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to gain the outcome you desire.
8. Alert Your Insurance Company of the Accident
If you want to claim the costs incurred by damage to the motorbike (or yourself), it’s vital that you speak to your insurance company at the earliest stage, as it can take weeks for the subsequent procedures to be completed. Besides, acting while the memories are fresh will give you the best shot at gaining the best results.
Ideally, you will be able to practice safe driving and avoid accidents altogether. But because motorcycle accidents are so likely, and because you can’t control the actions of other drivers around you, it’s best to know these tips so you can use them if you ever do become involved in a motorcycle accident.