By Scott Huntington (American freelance writer, blogger, and rider. Check out his site, offthethrottle.com)
There are few things more enjoyable than riding your motorcycle on an open road — the gentle breeze gusting into you as the engine of your beloved motor vehicle purrs with delight.
But then, a tire hits a jagged part of the road and sends your bike skidding on to the shoulder of the road. Or a car cuts you off and you slam into the back of it. Even for experienced motorcyclists, a crash like this can happen. So when your motorcycle crashes while you’re on a road trip away from home, what do you do?
1. Check for Injuries
First and foremost, make sure you and any potential passengers are okay. It’s advised to call for medical help, even if you don’t feel any pain. The adrenaline from the crash may be temporarily subduing pain that may end up hurting severely later on.
This delay in cognition can occur in several serious injuries, from concussions to bone fractures. When evaluating your health, be extra cautious and call for medical attention regardless. Even proper safety gear isn’t foolproof against a major crash.
2. Move Your Motorcycle Off the Road
While waiting for medical attention to arrive, you should move your motorcycle away from the road if it isn’t already. Road obstructions are dangerous for any drivers, especially if it’s a smaller vehicle like a motorcycle causing a blockage, because it can be difficult for some drivers to see.
3. Take Photos
Now that the road is clear for other drivers and medical help is on its way, take pictures for both insurance and personal purposes. Especially if the accident occurred due to poorly constructed roads or an unreadable sign, pictures will aid in any legal action. Similarly, taking a photo with a smart phone will likely pinpoint the location via GPS for additional reference, which is very useful since you’re away from home and may not be able to conveniently revisit the location.
4. If Others Were Involved Collect Information
If the accident involved other motorists or pedestrians in any capacity, it’s essential to collect their contact information — even if they were directly involved or were just an unbiased bystander. Regardless of whether the accident was minor or major, this is important from a legal perspective. Names, phone numbers, addresses and license plate numbers should absolutely be collected. Watch out for people trying to give you false info if they were at fault. Once you have their phone number, repeat it back, but say one of the numbers wrong. If they correct you, you’re fine, but if not, watch out.
5. Get the legal stuff taken care of
If you don’t have one already, make sure you get a good motorcycle lawyer. I use these guys, Russ Brown, and they are far superior than dealing with a regular auto or injury lawyer. Even if the other people involved in the accident tell you it was their fault, they still might end up blaming you a few days later. I can’t stress the importance of having a good lawyer to back you up. It sure saved me.
A motorcycle crash can be very scary for all parties involved, but if you follow the five steps above, then the situation can be remedied as effectively as possible. Even the most experienced motorcyclists can have their bike break down or crash at some point, so it’s always worth keeping in mind the proper precautions for what to do in case it does crash.