A FABB member recently recommended to us two things that we thought important to share and to encourage others to share widely.
First, our member is a big fan of his Cycliq 6CE light and camera safety system, which automatically records video of traffic around you as you ride. He wanted everyone to know that Cycliq is having a sale on its updated FLY6 CE Generation 2 system on Black Friday. You can check out this very useful, if not essential, bike accessory here.
Next, we were reminded that Bikelaw.com is an excellent resource for riders with questions about the law and the best way to deal with motor vehicle-bicycle collisions. Among Bike Law’s recommendations for road users is to have a camera system to provide evidence to support claims should they be involved in a crash. You also should always ride with a cell phone, personal identification, emergency contact, and something to write with (or record everything on your phone using text/email/notes and audio or video recording capabilities).
Bike Law also offers the following useful advice on what you should do if you are involved in a collision. First, Bike Law makes the great point that you should never call a collision an “accident,” which suggests the incident was “accidental” or unavoidable. If the driver made the wrong choice and is to blame, the appropriate term to use is “bicycle crash.”
Other rules to follow if you are involved in a crash are:
- Dial 911 to call the police or an ambulance immediately. If you are unable to do so, ask someone to help.
- Always wait for the police to arrive and file an official report. A police report provides documentation detailing the incident, including the identity of witnesses.
- Get the business card of the law enforcement officer.
- Leave your bike in the same state it was after the crash, if possible. It is best if the police see the accident scene undisturbed.
- Obtain the contact information of any witnesses.
- Immediately seek medical attention, either at the scene, the emergency room, hospital or doctor’s office. When in doubt go to the ER! Give all complaints to the doctor. Medical records are proof that you were injured and document the extent of your injuries.
- Take photos of injuries and your bicycle.
- Never negotiate with the driver of the vehicle, regardless of who may be at fault. Get the driver’s name and his or her insurance information, along with the names of any passengers.
- Make no statement to insurance until you talk to a lawyer.
Of course, it is always best to avoid a collision by following these basic rules:
- Always ride in the direction of traffic.
- Have lights on your bike when riding at night (required by law in Virginia).
- Stop at stop signs and obey traffic signals.
- Be aware of vehicular blind spots.
- Always wear a helmet.
Stay safe out there.