Bike Crash 101

What to do if you’re in a crash

  • Make sure you’re safe. If you’re lying in harm’s way and risk being further injured by oncoming traffic, try to get to a safe place until you can receive medical care. Otherwise, lie still until you or a medical professional can ensure you are not seriously hurt.
  • Identify other parties to the crash, including witnesses. Get the vehicle’s license plate and the driver’s license, registration, and insurance information, if possible.
  • Call the police and file a police report. Even if you don’t want to file charges against any other parties, this is important for documenting what happened. Making sure the city knows about the crash can help make that street or intersection safer in the future.
  • Receive medical care, even if that just means getting checked out by your regular doctor.
  • Get home safely. Do not try to ride your bike until you’re sure it’s structurally sound.
  • Document damage to your bike — bike shops are well-practiced at providing damage estimates.
  • Contact the other party’s insurance company.
  • Consider hiring a lawyer.

A comprehensive guide from MassBike

What to do if you’ve caused a crash

  • Make sure the other person is safe and call 911 if necessary. DO NOT LEAVE THE SCENE.
  • Identify other parties in the crash and exchange contact information.

What to do if you see a crash

  • Stop and make sure everyone is safe. If someone is hurt, call 911, try to keep traffic at bay, and DO NOT MOVE THEM.
  • Stay until help arrives, if you can, and assist the injured party with getting in touch with their emergency contacts (if necessary).
  • Identify parties to the crash and provide a witness statement to the police. Help to document any damage you see.