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Bike crash: The first things to do in the aftermath

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Being involved in a cycling crash is a shock. Your bike may be mangled, your possessions scattered. However, if you can remember to do a few key things straight away, it will make life a lot easier in the days and weeks ahead. Over 18,000 cyclists were injured on the roads in 2017, according to new statistics from the Department for Transport, and those were just the ones reported to police.
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So here's what you should do if are involved in a collision.
1. Are you safe
If you have collided with another cyclist or pedestrian and they are unable to move, help them out of the way - unless they have a suspected neck or back injury.
In that case, do not move them, but try and make them comfortable while watching out and diverting traffic if necessary. If there is a serious injury, call 999 for an ambulance. Call the police too, because the call will be logged and can be useful evidence.
2. Sharing details and seeking witnesses
It is a legal requirement for drivers to supply their details to you when you are involved in a collision. Make sure you get the registration number, make, model and colour of any vehicles involved immediately.You should also try and find independent witnesses. If you are injured, ask someone else to collect contact details on your behalf.If your collision has been with another cyclist or pedestrian, they are not legally required to supply their details, but ask for them and record what you can.
3. Gather more evidence
It might not occur to you to sketch diagrams, with measurements, but they can be useful if your phone has been smashed.If you have a camera, take as many shots as you can of the incident - and not just of number plates and drivers. Parked cars, kerbs, drains, painted lines, lamp posts, skid marks and road scratchings can also be useful evidence. Sign, date and put a time on your account, and keep it safe.
4. Don't neglect injuries
If you are only slightly injured, it's tempting to soldier on, but consider getting a full hospital check-up and make sure you seek medical attention for any subsequent twinges so you don't postpone the healing process.
5. Your mangled bike
Again, make sure you get good photos of your damaged bike and possessions for potential compensation - and keep all receipts for any repairs. If the cost is going to be above ?100, get two quotes.
6. Legal help
In the worst-case scenario where there has been personal injury, you might need legal assistance. Membership with a cycling organisation can help, giving you free access to lawyers who are knowledgeable about cycling incidents.
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