It is normal for California bicyclists to feel disoriented after a bike accident. Whether the accident was the result of your error or you were hit by a distracted driver, the following list of “must dos” will assist you after an accident.
1. Stay down
Do not rush to stand up or get back on your bike after an accident. You may feel as if you’re okay only to fall over when trying to stand up. Give yourself time to figure out if you and your bike are okay to ride or if you need to wait for help to arrive.
2. Assess your injuries
Check yourself after a collision. Make sure there is no blood, and if there is, find out the location of your injury and apply pressure. If you cannot find any blood, try bending your arms and legs. If you are able to stand up and move around, you are probably okay to leave.
3. Check for concussion
Though the adrenaline has probably kicked in and you’re feeling no pain, you may still be at risk of concussion. One way to determine if you hit your head is to check your helmet for dings or scratches. If concussion is suspected, you should remain where you are and await medical help.
4. Exchange information with others involved
If you were hit by a driver or another cyclist, be sure to exchange information such as insurance policies in case damages or medical costs become excessive. Remember, your injuries may not always be apparent immediately after a bicycle collision.
5. Prepare before you ride
No one sets out on a bike ride expecting to be involved in a bicycle accident, but being prepared is the best way to get through one. Make sure you have key tools to fix common bike problems like a slipped chain or flat tire. Additionally, carry a small first aid kit with basic supplies in case of injury.
Wearing your helmet and properly dressing for the weather are also good ways to prepare for your bike ride. The more precautions you take for your safety, the less likely you are to suffer from a serious injury.