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Crash card - WillCycle
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Crash card

Nobody ever wants to crash, especially when that crash involves being hit by a driver. In fact, most of us don’t even want to think about that! What I’ve learned from painful personal experience is that shock will impact on your behaviour, and decisions after a crash. You are extremely likely to make poor decisions, and to forget to do things that with hindsight may seem stupidly obvious.

This is why I compiled this crash card – to help me, should I ever again be unfortunate enough to be involved in a crash. This card offers bullet points only, as I want to be able to print it off, laminate it, and carry it with me when cycling. Simply download the Crash Card, laminate it yourself, and keep it in your tool-bag, on your bike. I suggest that, before laminating it, you write some useful details down on the reverse, including emergency contact’s mobile numbers, your Cycling UK membership number, and similar.

Each bullet point is explained in a bit more detail in this post. The image is set to be slightly smaller than credit-card size, to easily fit laminating pouches. In case it wasn’t obvious, there are two images – they’re meant to be laminated back-to-back in the same card, after you added your emergency details to the second one.

The starting point after any collision is to be safe. If you’re lying in the road, and are reasonably able to, consider getting off the road, before some attention-absent carrot runs you over with their panzerwagon.

  1. Take photos. If one photo is good, a hundred is better! If you can, take photos from all sides and angles, and take multiple photos of the driver, and the reg number of the car.
  2. Get witnesses. Again, as many independent witnesses as possible. Take photos of them, if you can, and their vehicles’ reg plates (if applicable).
  3. Don’t assume – gather evidence. You will forget details. You will miss obvious things. The driver’s insurance company will do their utmost to get off the hook. This means you have to gather as much evidence and details as possible. What you miss gathering at the scene you won’t get a chance to gather later.
  4. Get the driver’s details. This goes without saying.
  5. If injured, call an ambulance. You may feel OK (but adrenaline may mask serious injuries). However, not seeking medical attention immediately will be used against you later, by the driver’s insurance company.
  6. Do not cycle away. This will be used by their insurance company as evidence that you were OK.
  7. Set your Strava to private! Please go read this post, which will explain it in detail.
  8. Get seen by a doctor. Again, not seeing a doctor as soon as possible will be used against you by the insurance company.
  9. Report. You must report the crash, even if only to get a reference number from police.
  10. Only speak to your own legal team. The driver’s insurers’ legal team may contact you directly – politely refer them to your own legal team, then hang up. Don’t get drawn into any conversation with them.
  11. More photos. If you can, take photos of the driver, and perhaps even of witnesses (and obviously, their reg numbers). This is in case the driver later claims they weren’t the person driving.
  12. CCTV. Try to see if there’s any CCTV covering the scene, and if so, get requests for access to the footage in a.s.a.p. – before it’s over-written. Remember, this includes Ring doorbells.
  13. Stop your helmet cam. Don’t do so right away, but before leaving the scene of the collision, stop your camera(s) to avoid over-writing the footage you’ll need.
  14. Join Cycling UK, or similar! OK, this one you need to do before any collision! The legal backup, and insurance you’ll receive as part of membership is worth every penny. Cycling UK is brilliant, and they even offer you to pay monthly for membership.

If you have any other tips, add them as comments.

7 thoughts on “Crash card”

  1. British Cycling membership (Commute) is also good value. Can’t say if its any better or worse than Cycling UK, but have only good to say about it after having been hospitalised by a driver.

  2. Excellent card, thanks.

    And – take it from me – it’s far better to have joined Cycling UK *before* having a crash. That’s when you realise membership is worth its weight in gold.

  3. I think you need to be careful about photographing witnesses and their car registration numbers without asking, some people may not like that and you’d lose your witnesses co-operation.

    I witnessed a collision between a car and a motorcycle earlier this year. We were the only car to stop as some people don’t want to know or can’t be bothered. Being photographed and having car reg photographed smacks of involvement and I can see being objected to.

    • Be careful? Sure, but remember that filming, or taking photographs in a public place is perfectly legal. Also, you can take photos without making it obvious.

  4. Also – keep copious notes of any interaction with anyone after the event. Note when anyone phoned you, and a breif note of the conversation even if it seems irrelevant at the time. Note down when you went to the doctor, when you went to A&E etc.
    Not only do the notes act to jog your memory they can be used to refute false allegations.


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