Megan Hottman, lawyer with Hottman Law Office, and super fast cyclist.
It can happen so fast. One minute you’re enjoying a nice ride with some friends … and then the next minute, your eyes process a car colliding with a member of your group. Your heartrate goes up –your adrenaline kicks in. You stop your bike, clip out and hit the ground running …
What do you do now?
Take 2 seconds to process in your mind what has just happened and commit to memory: the make/model/color of the motor vehicle; what you observed as the accident happened (i.e.traffic signals, stop lights, was the car speeding, etcetera); gender and description of the driver; license plate state and number (even a partial number can help). If the driver flees the scene, you may be the only person that can help the police track the driver down. If you want to help your friend, you must remember everything you can. Look around –did anyone else witness the accident? Are they staying to help? Make note of their descriptions and ask them to stay to speak to the police (yell “please stay and give your statement” at them as you run to assist your friend).
When cyclists are hit, it is very important they do not move while their medical condition is assessed. If you suspect head/neck/back trauma, they should remain where they are, as stabilized as possible (Most doctors recommend you not remove their helmet). This means that in a busy street, someone needs to begin directing traffic around the downed rider as quickly as possible to avoid further injury. (Note: the cyclist may not realize the extent of their injuries and may try to get up right away. You need to check them and use your judgment – you need to instruct them to remain still if you fear serious injury). You may need to summon another person to help direct traffic so that you can attend to your friend.
3. CALL FOR HELP.