In 2017 The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents published their in-depth report into the most common causes of motorcycle crashes. They found that, ‘although motorcyclists only account for 1% of total road traffic, they account for around 18% of deaths’ on UK roads. The report continues, due to their higher rate of crash and injuries, motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users: ‘they are 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants per mile traveled’.
Accident causes include:
- Failure to negotiate bends safely
- Collisions at junctions
- Overtaking collisions
- Loss of control
- Inappropriate speed for road conditions
If you are unfortunate enough to have a motorcycle road traffic accident, here are the key steps you should take to make the ensuing process as smooth as possible.
In the event of a road accident, it is an offence to fail to stop. So, get off your bike, switch off the engine and turn on the hazards to warn oncoming traffic.
Check to see if you or others are injured. Call 999 for the police and an ambulance if anyone is hurt or if the road is blocked and affecting other road users. If police are not urgently required, then use the 101-phone number but remember that accidents involving cars must be reported to the police within 24 hours. A failure to do so could incur penalties such as a fine or even driving disqualification.
The law requires that you share details with other people involved in the accident: these should include your name, address and phone number as well as insurance details and the registration numbers of the other vehicle(s). If you can, consider gathering contact details for any witnesses who may be able to shed light on what happened and to support you should you wish to make a claim down the line.
Do the best you can to accurately record the accident scene. Including details such as the weather, road conditions and an outline of the crash scene when it is fresh in your memory, could prove helpful later. You could consider taking photographs to support your evidence.
No matter how it happened or why, remember: do not apologise or admit liability right away. Claiming responsibility at this stage could result in you being held liable for the accident, even if it turns out later that it was not your fault.
When you can, inform your insurer, even if you do not need to make a claim. If you do not, you could invalidate your cover. If you do intend to claim, all the details that you obtained immediately after the accident will support the claim process.
Depending on your circumstances you may need to make a claim as a result of your accident. Reasons for pursuing a motorcycle accident claim vary but can include an effort to recoup financial losses or to compensate for injuries that arose from the collision. Be aware that you have 3 years from the date of first becoming aware of your injury in which to make a claim. So, it makes sense to seek legal support as soon as possible.
If you are
considering making a motorcycle accident claim, get in touch with the specialist claims team at Osbornes