I was so dazed after the accident that all that I kept repeating through my head was ‘I’m on my way to work’ and couldn’t think straight from all the adrenalin and shock.
A few weeks ago I had the misfortune to become a cycling accident statistic. I was cycling on my way to work on The Terrace, down a steep part, when a large red ute edged its way out of Dixon Street. Sadly, rather that seeing my lights and bright jacket, he pulled straight out giving me only split-seconds to react.
Long story short, I ended up staring up at the sky on his bonnet, with my bike still between my legs.
Fortunately I wasn’t too badly hurt. Unfortunately my lovely bike got totaled and is now junk. I’d never been hit before and was totally unprepared to deal with it. My phone, which was in my hip pocket, got smashed and there went all my numbers. I couldn’t call work, my partner, the police, an ambulance… nothing.
On the scene were two lovely ladies that took great care of me and the driver stuck around shyly in the background. It was the women who helped that called the free ambulance, police and work. Thank you.
Anyway, that was my ‘crash’ story. I just want to give some advice to anyone who may have to go through the same thing.
- Take things nice and slow. The impulse to get up and get your morning going again can be quite strong. Sit down if you can and it’s normal to feel nauseous.
- Keep emergency contact numbers on paper somewhere like your tool bag, taped to the bike or anywhere you will have them to hand.
- Accept the free ambulance. I felt I didn’t need it because all the adrenalin pumping through me was blocking out the hurt and foresight, but I did.
- Swap full details with the police, driver and witnesses, If your phone is damaged include a different contact number.
- Call the police or get someone else to call them. You will need them for insurance purposes and if you feel like pressing charges later on.
- You should get a letter from the police stating some basic facts and whose fault it was.
- Take stock of what’s damaged and don’t forget to include your helmet in that list as once it’s been hit, it’ll need replacing. Try claim for hours away from work, bus fees for the time you don’t have a bike and anything else that is a direct result of the accident.
- Keep anything that was damaged as you may need to give it to the insurance company
- If you are not claiming on your insurance you should claim through the driver’s liability insurance
- You should end up with a cheque or replacement for any damages. It should also be possible to keep your damaged bike but you may need to talk this through with the insurance company.
- Finally, get back on the horse as soon as you can and keep positive.
Keep alert, stay confident, be visible and touch wood it shouldn’t happen, but if it does then bear these tips in mind.