Jen - This is a very good tip and I would like to bump up this thread to try to reach out to the fellow
(male) cyclist who did exactly that (took care of my bike as I was taken away in am ambulance following
an accident in which a car hit me).
I was hit buy a car one month ago today (August 29th 2012) at the intersection of Halsted and Chicago
(I was going northbound on Halsted) around 4:25 pm. You were the bike behind me as we waited at the red light and assisted me while I was laying in the street immediately folllowing the accident. You asked if there was any way you could help me : and I replied Yes; could you please take my bike (and lock and key) to REI just up the street on Halstead before North Avenue. I retrieved the bike 3 days later. I want to thank you very much for this help. I would also like to ask a couple of questions. if you could contact
me here (send a private message on the chainlink) or call text me at 312 351 4052; thanks very much.
y a j said:
I think one thing we can do for a downed cyclist is take care of their bike. All the other folks on the scene might not think of it, but as cyclists, we know how important our bikes are to us. If that rider went away in an ambulance, what happened to their bike?
That's what I did over the summer when I found a rider down. While we were waiting for the ambulance I took his key, carried his bike to the side of the road and locked it up. I wrote him a note re: where his bike was locked & put the note & his keys back in his bag. He's was pretty out of it the whole time & it was all taken care of before the ambulance took him away.
iggi makes a good point too. I wasn't in a car, so I wasn't adding to a gaperblock while I was doing this.
There are a few things on scene that should happen and if you are able to help ensure that they do - it can make a huge difference for the crash victim.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you've ever been in a crash - you know how disorienting, scary and confusing it can be. It's extremely helpful to have someone to help you in this time, even if they aren't a witness. Just to have someone (who isn't the guy that just doored you) to talk to you and keep you calm can make a huge difference.
Director of Membership and Development
Active Transportation Alliance
I was hit by a car crossing the road on the LFP at the totem pole. The Passersby were great some stayed till the police came and gave their reports. I decided to take the ambulance to the hospital (I was alright but it cost me 800 for the ride, covered by the settlement). The Fire Department took the bike to the station across from Wrigley. When I showed up to pick it up that night they said it didn't look totaled enough (it was) and offered to drive over it with the truck (I laughed and declined).
Rebecca - Thank you for re-posting this.
Speaking from experience, I can tell all of you that even if you are familiar with what you should do after an accident, your brain in shock following an accident may not be a rational brain. If someone other than the guy who doored you can help, it can make a big difference - helping you regain focus, get help if it's needed, taking care of your bike, calling 911 and your emergency contact, giving a witness statement to police, etc.
A good witness statement can make a difference. Sometimes the police officer taking the report may write it in such a way that it favors the driver, even if the driver is at fault in the crash. Getting contact info and statements from witnesses can help you in the long run if there are any significant injuries.
I've been on both sides - needing assistance after a crash and helping someone else. If the person who offers to help can take photos of your injuries, the crash scene, your damaged bike, etc., it can help in your insurance claim or lawsuit (if it comes to that). A destroyed bike can be evidence, which may go missing if someone doesn't secure it.
All the details that Rebecca mentioned can make a difference.
It also depends upon who you are. My wife is a trained first responder. If she sees any accident, she believes she is on a moral obligation to help. If we are in the Car (yes... I do drive a car as well... so sue me...) I will offer to but the Bike up on my rack and take it somewhere safe and hold it for them. Getting trained is a good idea.