What to do after a Motorcycle Crash?
When you go out for that epic ride, you really don’t think of hitting the pavement…with your body. Sometimes it’s just a simply red light drop, or it can be as bad as a hospital visit. Either way, crashing can really put a damper on your life. I suggest preparing for the worst, and here’s how you can do that.
Lately I have been riding out in the middle of the desert on my Harley Scrambler. That is dangerous and stupid as it can get. I’ve dropped my bike on my leg a few times and it is painful. A 500+lb Sportster on my shin hurts? No shit Daniel.
Always Be Aware You Might Crash
That really has to be on your mind. Whether you’re out in the mountains scrambling, in town errand riding, or out on the track pushing the limits of your bike. Some places are safer than others, ie an ambulance on standby at the track, but some are straight up deadly. Out in the desert solo, with no cell reception, is not smart. So let’s talk about what to do in some common crash situations.
Scenario One — The Solo Crash
So you decide to go out by yourself. Thats cool. I do that 99% of the time too. Now imagine that turn you took 1000 times has some gravel on it. Complacency or not, you do a pretty cool low side. Cool because you have the recording. #ViralYouTubeVideo. Let’s say only your ego is hurt, and the bike still runs. You also don’t feel crushing, sharp, intense pain. Pick up the bike and ride home. Serious. Just ride home. Or a buddies house to check out the bike and yourself. You’ll be feeling the pain later, and you might have an issue with the bike that was overlooked. Don’t continue on that sweet mountain twisty ride brah.
Let’s say that lowside turned into something more serious. You puncture your gas tank, snap a handlebar, bend the rim, whatever. Pull the bike to the side of the road or off the road. Watch for other drivers, they are idiots. At this point call your buddies to help you out. Specifically one with a truck and ramp. If anyone decides to stop and help you out, go ahead and refuse. Only accept it if YOU ARE DYING. Seems kinda counter intuitive, but you really don’t need someone to sit and talk with you. Unless its another biker, those guys are cool. Also tell them you already called 911. But don’t call them. Here’s why. You can probably get a ticket. “Failure to control” or some other type of bull. You really don’t need that, especially after you hurt your baby. So, fib a little and send the helpy helperton on their way.
Then buy your buddy a 24 pack of good beer.
Scenario Two — Attempted Murder
Well, it almost seems like it. This is probably every YouTube Motovloggers dream. Someone pulling out and hitting them…while they get it on tape. Insurance will take care of things, and you have a sweet video. The ending of this can range from a small dent, to death. So, let’s go through some of those. Spoiler warning, if you die, don’t worry about the insurance.
Four wheeled vehicles hit motorcyclists all the times. It just happens. So what do you do then? I recently wrote about what to do if you see a wreck, but what do you do when you are involved? If you’re unconscious, uh…you can’t do much. So let’s assume you’re awake and able to move.
Call 911. This is where you want to do that. Get an officer there quick. They will do their investigation, medical personnel will check you out, and things will go much smoother. This is what they do for a living. While waiting for them, take a picture of the driver’s vehicle’s license plate, a picture of the driver, the driver’s vehicle itself, your bike, and a sick ass selfie for the lulz. I’d do this, because you never know if the person decides to take off before the cops show up. They could be drug smugglers for all you know. The photos will help the police if they take off, and it will help if the police mess up the report. You know, the report that the insurance company will use to decide if they will pay you or not.
Also, keep calm. Don’t be an idiot and get a disorderly conduct charge. The adrenaline will be pumping, just take a seat somewhere safe and let the professionals handle it.
Scenario Three — The Hit and Run
Now someone decides to hit you, and take off. Damnit. Now you’re screwed. The end.
Jk breh. This is why we are coming up with a “crash plan.” Here is what you need to do. Gather yourself as soon as you can. Quickly look at the vehicle. Gather as much information as you can. Make, model, color, plate numbers, a/s/l… Then call 911. The moment you dial 911, the call is recorded. When it rings, just start naming shit off. “Blue, Toyota, Prius, 912BHS, Woman 40ish…” That way you don’t forget and the police have the info. The dispatcher might think you’re weird but let them know the situation. If you are riding with a partner, have them follow that scumbag mother fu… At a SAFE distance. It would kinda suck if they got hit or crashed trying to chase them. Just have them gather more information.
Before you go out on a ride, let your mom know where you’re going. Cuz let’s be honest, you’re still living at home. #SportBikeInsuranceRates. Seriously though, let a loved one know what you’re doing. There is some cool software for this. Glympse, and EatSleepRide are my go to apps.
Also discuss these scenarios with your buddies before a ride. Let them know to follow that driver if you are hit. Be that cool brah that helps that other brah…brah.
Important Things to Have
I keep my insurance cards in my wallet, next to my blood and organ donor card. Do what you need to do to have them on yourself as well. Make sure they are up to date. Print them out, fold them, and place them on you or on the bike somewhere. My Harley doesn’t have a storage area, but I know you sport bike riders have a small storage compartment. Also get yourself a small motorcycle toolkit or something similar. I ride with my backpack 99.9% of the time. I keep it in there.
Wear Your Gear
• Call your insurance company as soon as you can. Just do it. Especially if it was a major crash. Now, if you just broke your clutch lever and it costs 50 bucks, I wouldn’t worry about it. $500+ deductible or $50 repair job..think about it.
• Make sure their insurance is real. Copy it or take a picture of both sides of their cards. Ask for their license too. This is a normal thing that happens after a collision. Don’t feel like you’re being a dick. Protect yourself and do what is needed to come out ok in the end.
• Be an idiot. Stay calm. Count to 10. You’re going to be so pissed off that your bike just got demolished. Do you want to add an assault charge to your shit day? Yea? Ok go ahead. Let’s see how that helps.
• Be a squid. Wear your gear, but sometimes that doesn’t prevent everything. Broken bones, bruised organs, internal bleeding, etc. Adrenaline is helluva drug. If you can’t walk or function normally after a gravity attack, just call 911.
• Say too much. Keep.your.mouth.shut. Don’t admit fault. Be that 4 year old nephew that keeps saying “Nuh uh, wasn’t me. Nope. Not me. I didn’t do it. Nope. Nope.” Your insurance company will love it when you don’t admit fault.
And that’s basically it. You can’t prevent every situation, but you can help minimize the severity of the outcome. Ride safe brahs.
I create weekly YouTube videos of my having a blast on my 2012 Harley Sportster Scrambler. Come check me out over there and say hi!