Some of the things that need to happen immediately following a motorcycle accident may seem self-evident and obvious, but in the aftermath of a collision with something (or with the ground) the rider will, in many cases, be anything but lucid and practical. The following points are general guidelines that, as a sort of checklist, address the main issues that arise after an accident and how these issues need to be dealt with.
Note that this set of guidelines assumes you have not been badly injured in the accident. If you have been badly injured, you or someone else need to contact 911 immediately and get medical attention from professionals.
1. Take a moment to assess the situation and get your bearings. Consider your actions that follow in a very objective manner to ensure you don’t do something that could cause an even worse situation.
2. Make sure that everyone involved in the accident is ok. Anyone who is seriously injured should not be moved by anyone except emergency response people, doctors, or professionals who know what they’re doing. You don’t want to cause further injury if you can avoid it. If the severely injured person(s) are on the road, ensure that traffic is stopped until help arrives.
3. Get off the road, and ensure everyone else is removed from the road or that traffic is stopped. If it is safe to do so, get your bike off the road as well. Make sure there are no gasoline leaks from punctured gas tanks or ruptured gas lines that could cause fire or explosion. Regardless of stress levels, ensure that any cigarettes being lit at this point are well away from any hazardous areas.
4. If you have warning signs or flares and it is appropriate, get these placed around the scene.
5. Ensure that the police have been called to the scene as well as an ambulance if there are injured persons. The police would contact paramedics if necessary anyway, though, and police should respond quickly to motorcycle accidents since the chances of injury are generally higher.
6. Exchange names, phone numbers, insurance company names and policy numbers, and licence plate numbers with the other vehicle(s) operator(s). This information will also be on the police report if the police are on the scene, but the copy given to you at this point will often have legibility issues.
7. Get the contact information and names of any witnesses. The mere existence of these witnesses often helps to keep the other person’s memory of the incident from becoming conveniently creative later on.
Although we always want to focus on ways to avoid the occurrence of motorcycle accidents, these events do happen, and ignorance of processes and issues is never helpful. A motorcycle accident is always going to be a very stressful and chaotic event, so it is very important to try to review and understand the most critical steps involved now just in case you’re ever involved in such a situation. As is evident in the above points, the focus of all people involved after an accident occurs needs to be on ensuring that no further injury or damage occurs and that any injuries are immediately addressed.