Another month has passed, how does it fly so quickly? I could say that for 2022, somehow it seems to be flying quicker than 2020 or 2021, probably has something to do with the lovely weather we’re having. The biking season is well and truly under way and I hope you’ve all got some splendid ride outs and trips planned.
Unfortunately, the lovely weather has also brought out the numpties driving their tin cans. Doing the advanced statistically makes you a safer rider, however it does not mean that you will not have an accident, hopefully you will reduce the severity and the frequency of that accident. Last Saturday I was a victim of a SMIDSY (Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You), I had turned down the offer of a ride out with a lovely lunch stop which sounded really nice, but I already had my bike booked in for a service and new tyre, so was headed to the dealer. About a mile away (if that) I started filtering and as I got level with the rear wheel of the first car, he turned right into a car park entrance without indicating. I was only doing about 10/15mph, as he started turning right, I went with him, I was fighting the bike, fighting gravity and I really thought I was going to stay on, however gravity had other ideas and as the car cleared the front of the bike, down I went.
One of my first thoughts was ‘how did that happen?’, ‘how did I let it happen?’, ‘was I overtaking at a junction?’ I somehow can’t shake off 10 years of working in motorcycle accident management in a previous life! I checked the road, there are no road markings advising this was a junction so no I wasn’t overtaking at a junction. Unfortunately, there is case law (although not exactly the same circumstances) where a motorcycle was overtaking a line of stationary traffic and a car came out of a side turning on the left directly in front of the motorcycle. The court ruled it was an 80/20 split AGAINST the motorcyclist as he was overtaking at a junction. Unfortunately, insurance companies are well aware of this case and use it at every opportunity, I think if they see car -v- bike, they immediately reach for this case law. Although the incident took place in 1966 it has yet to be overruled. If you are interested in looking it up, it’s Powell -v- Moody (1966).
If you are involved in an accident do not admit liability (unless it is completely your fault and you have no leg to stand on and you are happy to take responsibility), make sure you get details of any witnesses, especially if they witnessed the third-party admitting liability! Exchange details with the third party, make sure you get their registration number, and a name and number would also be useful. If they know who they are insured with at the side of the road, take that too, but not everybody knows these details. Take photos of the accident scene if this is going to aid any claim. If you are in any way injured the police will also turn up which isn’t a bad thing. If you are injured then make sure these injuries are logged with a healthcare professional, whether this is going to hospital following the accident or making an appointment with the GP the next working day. This will assist with any personal injury claim you may make.
Keep receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses, this includes small things like prescription charges or parking at the hospital for follow up appointments. Any cost that you incur as a result of the accident is claimable. So is the cost of replacement motorcycle clothing that was damaged in the accident. Check your helmet over carefully.
Whilst all this was going on, I saw several motorcyclists or rather scooterists(?) riding down the road in their shorts, t-shorts and trainers and I cringed. I was wearing the full gear, I will not leave home without it, when you get dressed to go out on the bike, think to yourself ‘if today is the day I have an accident, what would I like to be wearing?’. Well, last weekend I was wearing it all, including a very sturdy pair of adventure boots, and as I said it was a very low speed accident, but what I couldn’t account for was the bike’s engine bars landing with the full force of 250kg on my toes! Needless to say bike-1, toes-0. It was not a pleasant sight but I am now the owner of several compound fractures on my toes! But what I wondered is, what state would my toes be in if I hadn’t been wearing sturdy boots? Probably have lost my toes or even possibly my foot, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Just don’t do it! I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear protection. I know statistics show that in a road accident the victim gets hurt from feet up, I didn’t quite understand how, but now I do!
Ride safely out there!
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