What You Need to Do After a Bike Crash in Nebraska
BIKE CRASHES HAPPEN. HERE’S A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO CHECK YOURSELF AND YOUR BIKE BEFORE RIDING ON.
As regular bike riders, we know that if you ride, at some point you’re going to have a bike crash or be witness to a bike crash. Knowing this, it’s best to be prepared.
The first thing you want to do after a crash is avoid scrambling to your feet. Before you get off the ground, take a quick self-inventory and make sure you don’t have any major injuries. Assuming all of your parts are where they should be, for instance, all of your limbs attached and intact, move quickly to a safe spot off the road or out of the way of other riders and continue assessing.
Bicycling in Nebraska Crash Checklist
We’ve seen seen all kinds of cycling-related injuries. We’ve had cyclists insist they are fine, only to watch their knees buckle when they try to stand. Physicians tell us the best thing you can do for yourself after a bike crash is to take your time getting up and moving around. You’re not in a race, and even if you are, there’s no need to scramble back on your bike immediately. Our first piece of advice is to slow down and assess the damage to yourself and your bike before pedaling off.
- Before you go back to riding, can you walk around?
- Is your head right and vision correct?
- Can you move your head up, down, left and right without any pain?
- Can you move your arms in all directions?
Take a minute, self-assess, then decide whether you’re able to ride or if it’s best to sit and wait for help.
Administer First Aid
Now that you’ve checked your limbs and assessed movement, it’s time to run through your senses. You know your limbs are there, but do you have a sense of feeling? Are all bones still under your skin, and is there a lot of blood? It’s okay to sit still if you feel seriously injured: call for help and seek medical attention. A good rule of thumb is if you can feel all of your limbs, there’s not a lot of blood, you can lift your bike without major pain, there’s a good chance your upper body is fine. If you can walk in a circle you’ll probably be able to continue pedaling. Your knees should flex and be able to bear weight.
Check for Concussion
The fastest way to check for a concussion if to look at your helmet. If you’ve bent or cracked your helmet there’s a good chance you hit your head on the fall. If you can remember reading this list or our firm name, Inserra | Kelley | Sewell, you’re probably in good shape. Concussions leave you disoriented and confused, so if you have to take a few moments to remember where you are, it’s likely you’ve got at least a minor concussion. Riding gets dopamine coursing through your body, and a crash releases adrenaline, both of which will mask injury. A best practice is to take extra time to settle down and check how you’re feeling.
A car-bicycle crash
If you have been in a bicycle crash, we have a list of things you need to know.
First we don’t call them bike accidents unless you’re alone. If there’s another party involved, we want you to call it a crash and not accident because the word “accident” means that the event was “accidental” or unavoidable. After representing hundreds of injured bicyclists, we know that bike “accidents” are very rare. In most cases, a driver made the wrong choice and is to blame. So we prefer sticking to the phrase “bicycle crash.”
- You should always ride with a cell phone, personal identification, emergency contact, and something to write with in your seat pack.
- If there is a car involved, dial 911 for the police or an ambulance. If you’re disoriented or confused, ask someone to help.
- Wait for the police to arrive and file an official report. While it may seem like overkill, a police report details the incident, including the identity of witnesses.
- You’ve been moving and checking your body, but leave your bike in the same state it was after the crash, if possible. It is best if the police see the accident scene as is.
- If you see others hanging around, ask for their contact information as witnesses.
- With a car/bicycle crash, it’s best to immediately seek medical attention, the emergency room, hospital or doctor’s office. When in doubt always go to the ER. Medical records will document your injuries and their extent.
- Assuming you or a witness has their phone, get photos of injuries and your bicycle.
- Don’t negotiate with the driver of the vehicle, regardless of who may be at fault. After a crash, simply get the driver’s name and his or her insurance information.
- Don’t talk to the insurance company until you talk to a lawyer. You can call us at Inserra | Kelley | Sewell and we will be happy to help.
Checking your bike
If everything on your body is okay, and if there was a car crash you have all of the information from other parties, move on to assessing your bike.
With any banged-up bike, you need to look for a few key things.
The Bicycle Wheels
When a rider brings in a crashed bike, a good bicycle mechanic checks the wheels first. Typically, the wheels take the brunt of the crash. Regardless of how you crashed, Inserra | Kelley | Sewell recommends checking if tires hold air, check if the wheels roll true, and the brakes work. Once that’s done, move on to the components.
The Bicycle Components
Check the position of the brake levers and shifters after a crash. If they’re out of position, it’s easy to push them back into place. The worst time to find out a brake isn’t positioned right is when you’re riding. After the brakes, look for a bent derailleur. It’s best to do this before checking the shifter since a bent derailleur can break when shifting. Last, check the chain and adjust the seat. If everything looks in order, move to the frame.
The Bicycle Frame
The last thing to check is the bike frame. If you’re riding a carbon fiber frame, check for cracks because that can indicate deeper problems. Aluminum or steel frames are more forgiving even if deeply scratched.
Call ISK if You Need Help
Inserra | Kelley | Sewell knows that regular bicycle riders will either be involved or witness a bike crash at some point. Be prepared and if you find yourself in need of help after a crash, call us.