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What to do following an accident

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IAM’s head of riding standards, Peter Rodger, is advising on what to do following an accident.

• Check that you are safe and unharmed, and then check that of anyone else involved.
• Be careful – it’s easy to get focussed on the accident, and forget what else might be going – be aware of the possibility of other traffic still moving around
• If you are able, attend to anyone who is injured – if you have first aid training, great, but if not, don’t try to be a hero – dial 999 (112 will also work if you are more used to it) straight away and talk to the ambulance service.
• Remove the ignition keys from your bike, even if you just leave it for a moment.
• If the accident is really serious, don’t move anything (other than the ignition keys) unless absolutely necessary.
• Don’t remove a helmet unless you have to because the person inside it isn’t breathing.
• Get the details of any witnesses.
• If possible, get photographic evidence to show the position of the vehicles involved, the road surface (especially any contributing defects) and any damage to other vehicles as well as your own. If you do not have a mobile phone or camera handy, you could also do a sketch of the scene.
• Never ride away from the scene of an accident you are involved in without speaking to the other people involved or leaving your contact details. Give your name and the name of the owner of the bike (if different), address, registration number, details of any injuries and insurance company information. You should get all of this information for the other party also.
• If you don’t get chance to exchange details – perhaps the other driver/rider didn’t stop – you must report the accident to the police straight away, which must be within 24 hours. 

Rodger said: “Nobody wants to think about the possibility of being involved themselves, but it happens. It’s not a pleasant thought, but it’s important to be prepared in case it happens. Knowing what you must do and taking simple precautions can make things far easier and less stressful afterwards.”

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