Accidentally hitting a cyclist will be a traumatic experience for both the driver and the cyclist.
It doesn’t matter how it happened, when it happened, or where it happened. There are some clear steps that all drivers should follow after all accidents involving cyclists.
Hit a Cyclist with Your Car – Immediate Actions
Hitting a cyclist will be traumatic for everyone involved.
- You need to stop somewhere safe and ensure the cyclist is ok. As it’s a big part of the Theory Test, UK drivers are expected to have a basic grasp of first aid. The actions you take next will depend on a few factors, such as whether or not the cyclist is still conscious. Head here for an essential guide to first aid for road accidents.
- You should call the police, and an ambulance for the cyclist as soon as it’s safe to do so. The cyclist may insist that they are absolutely fine but they may have hit their head, or they may be in a state of shock. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so it’s best they get themselves checked out.
- Keep control of the situation – If the cyclist is conscious, they’ll probably be upset, or even angry. You might be upset and angry too. But losing your temper will help nobody, and it may even make the situation worse. So keep your cool and try to handle things in a calm and controlled manner.
- Swap details, just like you would if you hit another car. Cyclists aren’t required to have insurance but you should still take their name, address, and phone number.
- Gather evidence. Take pictures of any damage to your car and to the bike. If possible, take pictures of any visible injuries the cyclist sustained. See if there’s anyone in the surrounding area who’s ready and willing to act as a witness. Make a note of the date and the time, and of any weather conditions or other factors that may have contributed to the incident.
- Report the incident to the police. You’ve a legal duty to inform the police of any road accident. You may have called the police but if they weren’t able to attend the scene you still need to report it. Failing to report an accident can result in up to 6 points on your licence which could mean losing your licence if you’ve recently passed your test.
What Happens Next: Car Insurance
You need to tell your insurers as soon as possible, even if you don’t intend to make a claim. Most insurance policies stipulate that you need to tell your insurers every time you’re involved in any sort of accident. If you fail to tell your insurer, it could invalidate your policy.
Will hitting a cyclist affect the price of your insurance?
The answer may vary depending on your insurer, but the most likely answer is yes. If the accident is decided to be the cyclist’s fault then the increase in premium might not be so bad or you may see no increase at all, but if the claim is settled in the cyclist’s favour then this will almost certainly result in higher premiums. If the accident leads to any driving convictions this may affect your insurance premium.
If you cause an accident, it suggests that you’re not the safest of drivers. Your insurers will view you as higher-risk and this will be reflected in the price of your premiums.
But in any case, you must tell your insurers. It’s a bad idea to withhold any information from your insurers, so don’t be tempted.
Does Car Insurance Cover Hitting a Cyclist?
If the collision causes damage to your car, will the cyclist’s insurance pay for it?
It is highly unlikely that the cyclist will have an insurance policy in place that would cover any damage caused. Some home insurance policies may cover a cyclist for personal liability, but there is no legal requirement for them to have this.
It is possible that the cyclist may bring a claim against you. This is why it pays to have comprehensive car insurance including legal cover. This will cover you for legal fees and expenses relating to claims and disputes. Head here for more information.