Steps to take following a cyclist road traffic collision
Cyclists are vulnerable on the road but, following a road traffic collision, they may be left feeling more so in the event a driver claims the cyclist is at fault.
23 November 2016
Whether you’re injured or your bike and property are damaged, it’s important to understand what you as a cyclist can do to protect yourself from any allegations and how you may bring a cycling injury claim yourself.
What does the law say?
Under Sec 170 (1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 a motorist is under a statutory duty to stop, report accident and give information or documents when “an accident occurs by which—
(a)personal injury is caused to a person…. or
(b)damage is caused—
(i)to a vehicle…..or
(ii)to an animal (defined as cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog).…..or
(iii)to any other property…….
2)The driver must stop and, if required to do so by any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring, give his name and address and also the name and address of the owner and the identification marks of the vehicle.
(3)If for any reason the driver does not give his name and address under subsection (2) above, he must report the accident.
(4)A person who fails to comply with subsection (2) or (3) above is guilty of an offence.”
What does this mean?
Sec 170 does not apply to cyclists (or pedestrians) who may cause a collision. There is, of course, no legal obligation for a cyclist (or a pedestrian) to have third party insurance. There is a body of opinion which advocates that all cyclists should be obliged to have third party insurance with registration numbers for their bikes. This would potentially be unworkable, disproportionate to the risk which cyclists cause to other road users, impossible to police and would result in a significant reduction of cycle journeys.
The importance of third party legal insurance
Even though there’s no legal obligation, it’s beneficial for all regular cyclists to have third party legal insurance to safeguard themselves should they be involved in a cycling accident.
10 tips for cyclists who’ve been involved in a collision:
1. Exchange name, address, email address and numbers with the other party.
2. Obtain the registration number of the vehicle (this is the most important piece of information which we need to pursue a claim as we can identify the vehicle insurers through the Motor Insurer`s Database by entering the registration number).
3. Obtain details of make, model and colour of the vehicle.
4. Obtain names, addresses, numbers of any witnesses.
5. If possible obtain photographic evidence of the position of the vehicle(s).
6. Report the incident to the police without delay. If the police attend the scene of the incident obtain details of name, serial number and station of the officer(s) as well as the CAD reference.
7. If you were using a helmet camera do not wipe the film! We can use this in evidence in both criminal and civil proceedings.
8. If you were injured seek medical attention.
9. Remain calm and don’t get drawn into discussion with the other party about who was at fault for the collision.
10. If injured, contact a lawyer who specialises in cycling injury claims.
All information was correct at the time of publication.