Accidents can happen when you’re riding alone or with others, so try to avoid them in the first place and then deal effectively with them when they happen.
First, be prepared – read this page: What do I need?
Second, make sure you tell someone where you are going and what time you are likely to be back. This is especially important if you ride solo. Make sure you ride to the conditions e.g. slow down before wet / gravelly bends. If you’re riding in a group make sure you alert people to hazards such as potholes, stones, dead badgers etc.
Third, read the advice in the following British Cycling article: Dealing with an accident.
It is helpful to have first aid training but you can also learn from other club members if you are present at an accident. St John’s Ambulance provide online advice and have a free app – get it on your iphone or Android phone.
Here is some basic advice:
IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR DEALING WITH A CYCLING CASUALTY
- Manage the scene of the incident and put your safety first, then deal with the casualty
- Keep the casualty warm, make them comfortable and give them reassurance
- If you feel able, provide first aid
- Make a decision about calling 999 for an ambulance – if you do call, the operator will help you assess the need for this
- You can remove the casualty’s cycling helmet if they want that
- Do not remove gloves on injured fingers – they make be supporting broken bones
- Avoid giving the casualty drinks in case they need an operation. You can moisten their lips with some water
- If they complain of any back or neck pain, keep them still and in the same position as they could be at risk of spinal injury
Anyone who has spent time lying on the ground waiting for an ambulance will tell you that reassurance is really important, so keep calm and talk to them, let them know their bike is safe, call someone for them if necessary and continue to keep yourself safe.