Bicycles and cyclists have the same right and responsibility to follow the rules of the road as vehicles and drivers. The difference is cyclists can see drivers, but, often, drivers cannot see cyclists. Additionally, bicycle accidents can be caused by faulty equipment, unsafe road conditions and numerous other factors.
In any case, the injuries sustained are often serious and can be life-altering or even life-threatening.
In 2014, Arizona “pedalcyclist” accidents accounted for less than 1.6% of all crashes. That’s the good news. The bad news is that almost 84% of those crashes resulted in injury and 1.6% in fatality.
The majority of crashes happened on clear days in broad daylight. Based on those statistics, it seems that anyone who heads out on a bicycle should be prepared to handle an accident, should it be unavoidable. Being prepared is your best defense.
What To Do After A Bicycle Accident
If you take to the streets on a bicycle, make sure you are prepared by following these tips:
- Always wear a helmet and safety gear including flashers and reflective clothing if you will be riding at or near dusk or dark.
- Carry your cellphone, identification and insurance information with you at all times.
- If you are involved in an accident, call 911 immediately.
- Take pictures of the entire scene – undisturbed – with your cellphone; get the names and numbers of anyone else involved including bystanders.
- Never negotiate or give a statement to anyone. Ever.
- When the authorities arrive, file an accident report that explains the details of the events of the accident. The details of the accident do not include statements of fault, accusation, or confessions; just the facts.
- Get the business card of the responding officer, including the case number.
- Seek medical attention immediately, regardless of how you feel. Medical records document your health, the effects of the accident and any subsequent injuries.
- Keep a diary and record how you feel over the next few weeks; things may change over the first few days or week.
- Consult with an attorney.