My First Motorcycle Crash: Here’s What I’ve Learned

My Motorcycle Laying on the Freeway after a distracted driver hit me

After 55 years of accident-free riding all sorts of motorcycles hundreds of thousands of miles during my lifetime, I crashed. A person driving their car in the adjacent lane beside me suddenly turned into my lane on a freeway and took me and my big Harley-Davidson motorcycle down at 50-60 mph. It’s one of those weird things you aren’t expecting since you are riding beside each other. It happened very quickly. All I remember is her car’s right mirror tangling with my left handlebar, followed by my standing up on the freeway with traffic whizzing by at rush hour. Everything in between is a blank.

My injuries were pretty minor. The car driver that hit me got a ticket for the accident, but that’s a small consolation. Later, while filing the claim with their insurance company, I found out they canceled their policy after getting the insurance card. Their now former insurance company denied my claim. So, after a week’s delay, I filed an uninsured motorist claim with my insurance company.

So, What Has This Motorcycle Accident Taught Me?

What follows are some random thoughts and experiences as I sit here without the use of my motorcycle. Nobody seems to know when I’ll be back on two wheels again with a working bike. Best estimate is eight to twelve weeks while it gets repaired. So, after my first motorcycle crash: here’s what I’ve learned.

Crash scene photo just moments after a car side-swiped me at 50-60 mph during rush hour on the Interstate. I was not seriously injured and walked away. My motorcycle was pretty banged up and required a flatbed tow truck. The other driver was ticketed but was uninsured. After two weeks, my insurance co is still trying to sort out what they will do. Thank goodness I had Uninsured Motorist coverage within my policy.

Check Your Insurance Coverage!

In my case, the other driver had no active insurance coverage. That’s illegal and promises to create problems for them in the future. It is a common tactic to get a minimum coverage policy and an insurance card to get a license and renew vehicle registration, only to cancel it after the first month. Luckily I have a comprehensive insurance policy that accounts for uninsured or underinsured drivers.

So, do yourself a favor and review your coverages for all scenarios, including uninsured/underinsured motorists. That is the coverage that will kick in if your accident involved someone “driving dirty.”

Ask Your Agent Lots Of What If Questions

For many of us, our insurance coverage is ordered by phone during the vehicle purchase process. Many times it’s just after we’ve made the deal for our new motorcycle. We are excited and emotional. We call our agent and tell them we just bought a new bike or car or whatever, along with the year, make, model and VIN. Something gets faxed or emailed to the dealer, and you drive off the lot as the new owner. This insurance buying scenario might be a big mistake.

Most people trust their agent to select the proper coverage and dial up the price. In other words, we’re not thinking about coverage details. That’s a mistake. It would be best to revisit your policy for coverage and limits and perhaps even shop it around once the dust settles to ensure you get enough of what you need to mitigate the various risks.

Spend An Evening Educating Yourself About Insurance

I strongly recommend you do what it takes to understand each type of insurance coverage and what exactly is covered, and how much they will pay out per claim. There are about 6 to 8 categories of coverage on most motorcycle policies.

Once you are comfortable with each type of coverage and the dollar amount you get with each, you can shop around for the best deal and will be able to compare apples to apples. Also, you will save a lot of money by shopping for all your insurance regularly to keep your provider honest.

On a personal note, and without going into any details, I will say that my insurance agent let me down on my coverage on my last motorcycle purchase. I assumed they would replicate the coverage amounts and limits I had with the previous two motorcycles. That was a mistake on my part. They pulled in minimums on several categories and dropped all of my earned discounts too. So not only was my coverage lower than I thought I had, but I was also overpaying for the coverage. I trusted my agent to take care of my insurance needs. After many years, up until now, I believe my insurance agent did advise me well. Ultimately, the coverage I have and the total cost are on me, but I am disappointed.

No matter how much you like your insurance agent or how long you’ve had coverage with the same company, you should to regularly review your insurance policies, especially when there is a significant change!

Carry A First Aid Kit On Your Motorcycle And Learn To Use It

A quality first aid kit can make an incredible difference in the time between your crash and when first responders arrive at the accident scene. One dire injury situation that needs immediate attention is profuse bleeding. A first-aid or trauma kit, along with some quick action, could be the difference between life or death.

Things would change over time, so even if you took first aid and CPR training years ago, it’s advisable to get updated training. There is some excellent training that effectively teaches you precisely what to do at the scene of a motorcycle crash until the first responders arrive. “Accident Scene Management – Bystander Training” could save the life of one of your current or future riding friends.

Training Suggestion: Accident Scene Management – Bystander Training

www.TxTraumaLifeSaver.com

A longtime motorcyclist and seasoned ER professional passionate about getting people trained, and runs Texas Trauma Life Saver. Her objective is to prepare motorcyclists on what to do at the scene of a crash. TTLS offers various hands-on training for the unique situations one might encounter immediately after a motorcycle accident. She’s good at it.

The Accident Scene Management – Bystander Training is a great class. It’s hands-on, very interactive, and you’ll learn a lot. Give Penni a call and tell her Kenny Manchester sent you. You’ll be happy you did.

Penni “Gypsy” Fuller has is passionate about teaching fellow motorcyclists what to do at the scene of an accident until professional help arrives. Her courses and training get rave reviews from all who have taken one of her courses.

What To Do When You Crash Your Motorcycle – Right Now!

  • Get yourself and others to safety
  • Call 911
  • First Aid
  • Document scene (photos & video) asap
    • Full view -all sides- of all vehicles
    • Specific damage (Zoom in)
    • Injuries
    • Clothing & Equipment (Gloves Helmet Jacket)
    • Property damage
  • Get contact info from witnesses
  • Exchange information with others involved in an accident
    • Trade Cell phone number(s)!
    • Get their other phone numbers
    • Get their current home address
  • Photograph:
    • Driver’s License
    • Vehicle License Plate & VIN
    • Insurance Card
  • Roadside Assistance?
    • Towing
    • Storage / Repair Facility
  • Paperwork
    • Police Name / Badge No.
    • Police Assigned Case #
    • Paperwork, i.e., towing, etc.

What To Wear While Riding A Motorcycle

I’m not going to preach to anyone in this article about what to wear on a motorcycle. Let me say that sliding, rolling, or bouncing on a paved freeway at 50-60 mph is rough. The more material you have between you and the pavement, the better. My injuries were minor, and I walked away. In hot, humid summertime riding, it’s sometimes challenging to balance protection with comfort. The adage “Dress for the slide, not for the ride” does ring true.

Helmet For The Head, Boots For Feet And Ankles, All Other Gear Is About Saving Your Skin

Clothing For On Road Motorcycling

I had layers of long sleeves and pants on, including a rain suit. It wasn’t raining or even wet, but I thought it might rain, so I had it on at the time of my crash. It helped a lot to control road rash. With layers of clothing, you’re still going to have to deal with the impact, but your skinned body parts will be less severe.

There is no doubt in my mind that some Kevlar armored heavy leather suit would have likely reduced my abrasions and road rash. But I don’t feel the benefit outweighs my comfort riding a touring motorcycle the way I ride it in extreme heat much of the time. It’s a personal choice, and for me, it’s the right one in the hot South Texas summer climate. Frankly, I’m more concerned about dehydration and sunburn when I dress for riding.

There is some riding attire out there that offers improved protection by way of a mesh design. For me, they’re still too hot during the dog days of summer in my world. YMMV.

The bottom line is: Do you. But own the consequences of your choices. No matter what super-suit you have on, walking away is never guaranteed. Trauma is trauma, no matter what clothes you are wearing. But, you can keep your skin in place with some clothing designed for that purpose. Riding a motorcycle on the street can be dangerous. We accept the risk for the unique experience.

I wish I felt better about my thoughts and actions regarding this topic of clothing and outerwear. This topic is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” situations. I wish everybody wore full max protection all the time while riding their motorcycle. I know that’s unrealistic, so do what you can.

Helmets For Motorcycling

I am not going to preach to anyone about wearing head protection while riding. I don’t bother debating the topic anymore. There’s so much quality information out there on the Internet, and you can figure it out for yourself. If you wear an inferior helmet or no helmet at all, then you accept the risk. I do hope you wear a big fat DO NOT RESUSCITATE (DNR) tag around your wrist or neck to protect your family from financial ruin if you ride without head protection.

Full Face Motorcycle Helmet

I happened to be wearing my full-face helmet during my crash. My head hit the pavement pretty hard, landing on the front left side of my face shield and front chin area of my helmet (pictured). I would have sustained some facial injuries, most notably my chin and left jaw and perhaps my left cheekbone. Having a quality helmet that fit my noggin properly prevented any head trauma during my crash this time, and I did not suffer a concussion.

Fact: Full Face Helmets Offer The Broadest Head Protection

If you decide to wear a full-face helmet, proven statistically to be the best of the helmet options available to motorcyclists, wear one that is less than ten years old (helmets do expire and are date stamped), has not been dropped or worn in an accident, that has a DOT certification label (at minimum) on the back, and above all fits your head shape properly. The fit is critical. So seek help from a pro to be sure and get the correct fit. Your head shape and your head size are equally important in choosing your motorcycle helmet.

I would have sustained some facial trauma had I not been wearing this ARAI motorcycle full-face helmet. Instead, I suffered no head injuries of any kind. Once a helmet has been in a crash, it must be retired and never used again. This helmet did its job.

Open Face And Half Helmets For Motorcycling

Wearing helmets that cover less of your head and face statistically increases the severity of your injuries in typical highway motorcycle crashes; that is a fact. As a motorcycle rider, you are accepting more risk when you wear a less protective helmet. Now that we have that out of the way, I want to share a few thoughts on why so many people wear something other than full-face helmets, including many law enforcement officers riding motorcycles on duty.

Why I Ride Motorcycles While Wearing A Half Helmet Much Of The Time.

#1) Comfort In Extreme Hot & Humid Weather

I wear a DOT certified quality half-helmet much of the time I ride my motorcycle. Why would I wear inferior helmet protection on my head? Well, there are several reasons, not the least of which is comfort. In sweltering & humid weather, my full-face helmet is just too uncomfortable for me personally. I do consider my full-face helmet my go-to in nasty weather, and when road conditions call for it, so I keep in on the bike along with my rain gear. So comfort is the main reason for wearing my half helmet.

#2) A Superior Experience Of The Motorcycle Ride

Another reason I wear the half helmet may be hard for some to understand unless you cruise a lot for pleasure in beautiful backroads. That reason is my feeling a complete connection with the surroundings, especially out on backcountry roads. In other words, wearing my half helmet gives me this feeling of freedom, for lack of a better word, while affording me at least some protection versus wearing no helmet at all.

#3) I Feel Safer Riding A Motorcycle While Wearing My Half Helmet

I wear a half-helmet because I personally feel safer. What! Yep, it’s true. I feel safer riding my motorcycle while wearing my half-helmet most of the time. Let me try to explain.

#4) Situational Awareness Improved Wearing Motorcycle Half Helmets While Riding

I feel that I am much more connected with what is going on around me while riding with the half helmet than without. A lot more connected than when I am wearing a full face helmet. There are more senses exposed to what’s going on as well as much better peripheral vision. Think of it as kind of a “Spidey Sense.” I have often wondered if I could have avoided my crash entirely had I been wearing my half helmet instead of the full face. Seriously. Yes the full face clearly protected me, but what if I could have avoided the crash entirely somehow? What if I could have picked up on the situation a split second sooner? Witnesses say there was nothing I could do to avoid being side swiped by a car, but I still wonder nonetheless.

#5) My Lower Risk Riding Style Reduces Risk Of Wearing Half Helmet

While wearing my half helmet on my big heavy cruiser motorcycle, I am riding upright and largely staying with traffic flow hovering around the speed limit (ish). My melow riding style has evolved to more of an “easy does it” approach than a crotch rocket speed demon lane-splitting approach. Metric riders tend to fly whereas I clearly cruise and I am happy with that. I like lot’s of space between me and those I am sharing the road with. I like to be able to see well ahead in my lane at all times. I want drivers around me to know I am there and avoid blind spots wherever possible. It’s all about preserving lots of reaction time and decreasing risk. So, what does have to do with wearing a half helmet?

#6) Conversational Convenience Of Half Helmets

While motorcycle riding with a passenger, and sight seeing, we can speak to each other easily while wearing our half helmets. I cannot tell you how convenient it is to be able to talk to other riders at traffic intersections and to know they can see your facial espressions and your huge smile. Yes, we have helmet to helmet communications among most of our riding friends, but that’s not the same thing.

Many Motorcycle Cops Wear Half Helmets Too, Here’s Why

Incidentally, all of the reasons I wear a half helmet are cited by many motorcycle police officers in the United States too. In fact, Police have a couple of additional reasons for wearing half helmets while on duty. One is that they do not want to remove their helmets during traffic stops. A full-face helmet would have to be removed during a traffic stop and that would mean taking their eyes off the situation momentarily…a big no no. Talking to someone while wearing a full face helmet conceals the officers face and that’s bad form.

What To Look For In A Half Or Open Face Helmet For Riding Motorcycles

As with the full face motorcycle helmet, you want to be sure that your helmet has at least the minimum of DOT Certification, indicated by a label on the back outside of the shell. The helmet should show no outward signs of being dropped. Also, check for a date label on the inside of the helmet to make sure it’s not expired. Even though a helment may look brand new after 10 or more years has to do with the breakdown of the materials used to construct the protective foam components and adhesives which might fail in a hard impact after the expiration date. Finally, get some assistance in getting a good fit. A properly fitting half helmet will not slide up or off your head when fastened. The helmet should not slide around on top of your head either. It should fit like a glove on top of your head snuggly. The choice of shell material will impact weight which may make a difference on long multi-day touring rides but shouldn’t affect effectiveness in a crash.

Gloves For Motorcycle Riding

Gloves really help protect the skin on your hands and fingers, more than you might realize. I was wearing high quality leather padded fingerless gloves when I crashed, and my exposed digits were scraped up pretty good on both hands. Full fingered, gauntlet-style gloves would have prevented my skinned up bloody digits, but in extreme heat I wear fingerless for much more comfort and to keep my hands from sweating. A side benefit is I more effectively use my handlebar controls and my electronic navigation. The touch screen doesn’t respond to full leather covered fingers.

Gloves Are Not Just For Protection While Riding, They Also Ease Fatigue On Longer Motorcycle Rides

If you’re going to wear gloves while riding your motorcycle, they’ll obviously keep your hands warmer in the chilly weather conditions you encounter. In the heat, some time of breathable mesh helps on the tops of your hands. Regardless of glove type, I recommend getting gloves that have ample padding in the palm. A good quality padded glove reduces hand fatigue, especially on longer rides. Some bikes vibrate more than others at the handle bars. Some front suspensions pass more road through the bars and grips too. Padded gloves do help increase riding comfort.

Boots for Street Motorcycle Riding

I think many people overlook the importance of protecting their feet and ankles while riding motorcycles. Too many times I see fellow riders on the highway with $900.00 full face helmets but wearing shorts, t-shirt, and tennis shoes or even sandals. That’s a lot of risk.

When I crashed I was wearing high quality motorcycle boots. The boots I wear are more than five years and four motorcycles old. I chose them because they are comfortable, easy to get on and off my feet, and because they are waterproof yet breathable. All that said, I somehow still managed to break my big toe in the wreck, but otherwise my feet and ankles were unscathed and I truly walked away. My guess is as good as yours as to how exactly I managed to break my toe wearing this very boot (pictured).

I was wearing this very boot on my right foot when I crashed a thousand pound motorcycle at 50-60 mph on the freeway. I walked away suffering no serious injuries, only a broken big toe. Good boots are important in my opinion and should be worn always while street riding.

What Features In A Good Motorcycle Riding Boot?

Comfort and durability are primary considerations when selecting a pair of motorcycle boots. A zipper for easier on and off is more than convenient, so you don’t have to mess with lacing an ankle boot every time you ride. A toe pad on top of the left boot minimizes excessive boot-top wear from the shift lever. Waterproof in the rain. Breathable for comfort in the heat. The Harley-Davidson FXRG riding boots meet all of the above criteria, but they can be expensive. My FXRG riding boots have lasted more than ten hard years and more than 150,000 all-weather miles so far, and they’re still going strong. Like a breathable rain suit or reliable helmet, you get what you pay for in the case of boots.

You Just Crashed Your Motorcycle! Now What?

Get Out Of Harm’s Way

Burning vehicles, balancing on the edge of an overpass or mountain cliff, laying in a puddle of fuel, or just laying in the freeway as traffic flies by in low visibility are but a few of the dangerous situations we could encounter in real life. Above all else, get yourself into a position of safety somehow. If there are other endangered people involved in your accident, try to get them to help too. Don’t worry; nobody can sue you for rendering aid at the scene of an accident! Ensure everyone’s safety as best you can first.

Call 911 As Soon As You Can

It is essential to get help on the way to your accident scene asap, which means calling 911. It is vital that somebody, anybody, make the 911 call. The 911 dispatcher will verify enough detail to notify the proper emergency services and law enforcement agencies. They will help you to assess the situation and advise you calmly and objectively. 911 operators are highly trained and good at calmly extracting accurate information and informing you. If you cannot call 911for any reason, ask a nearby bystander, or anyone to please make the 911 call.

Are You Or Anyone Else Injured?

Assessing your injuries may not be that easy to do immediately after a motorcycle crash. Trust me. Adrenaline and shock can conceal some severe injuries. So don’t be so quick to assume you’re good until professionals have checked you over. If you’re conscious and ambulatory, you may still have unknown serious injuries concealed by adrenaline. Try to keep calm and take it easy. Let others help you. However, if you can render aid to another who was involved in the accident, do so. Be mindful not to make their injuries worse, but don’t leave them in harm’s way either. If there is profuse bleeding, it must be stopped or at least slowed asap until first responders arrive. If there are bystanders, don’t be afraid to put them to work until first responders arrive if you are lucky enough to have someone on the scene who has had training listen to them. Keep calm. Help is on the way.

Capture The Accident Scene With Camera

Take pictures and exchange contact info, Driving License, and Insurance Information as soon as you can. Perhaps someone else can help you out here, but be sure you know how to get in touch with those persons. It’s easiest to ask for phone numbers and try to exchange text messages, so you know you got it right in all the commotion.

Take pictures of all vehicles involved—one full-frame shot of each side, front, and back. Check to be sure the photos are clear and focused. It’s easy to get blurry photos with all that is going on after an accident. Find someone to help you if you have any doubts about photo quality. Then zoom in to get specific damage photos. Get a photo of the odometer. And if possible, the VIN plate too. Trust me good photos of all this stuff speeds things along 60 percent or more in getting your repair estimate. If in doubt take a photo of it! Videos are helpful too, but they are more for you and your memory than anything else since the Insurance Agencies are really on interested in good quality and relelvant photos.

Police, Tow Truck Driver, Storage Facility Contact Info: Get It!

If you can, grab a business card from the officer handling your accident scene. Sans, a business card, shoot a quick pic of their badge number and name tag just in case. The Officer will give you a carbon copy of the paper they fill out at the scene, but frequently their handwriting isn’t very legible on your document. The same is true of the towing service. Snap a quick photo of their business card or badge number or something, just in case. Things move quickly, and you’ll be glad you did this later.

Unless you have some kind of roadside service available to you, the officer will call a tow truck to the accident scene for you. Unless you know where you want the vehicle taken and arranged, the tow truck driver will take your motorcycle to their affiliated storage lot. You will owe more than $300.00 as soon as it arrives at the lot, and you will begin accruing storage fees of around $20-$30 bucks per day. Trust me when I say that no insurance company wants to leave your vehicle anywhere accruing costs. The insurance company will seek to have your vehicle moved quickly as possible to their company-owned facility or an approved collision repair facility.

Get Case # From Officer Before You Leave

At the scene, there will be some paperwork given to you for safekeeping. Among the vital information is the case #. You will use this to get a copy of the official police report. The official police report is where the police will document and identify all parties involved and what they determined happened. They will also determine who, if anyone, was at fault and noting any traffic violations.

You probably won’t get a police report at the scene, but later by using the case # the Officer provided. With some other identifying information, you’ll need to obtain the police report a day or so after the crash. In my case, I paid a nominal fee and downloaded it as a PDF file online, and then I printed it out. You get the Case # from the officer at the accident scene. You use the case number to get a copy of the official police report. It is wise to obtain the police report and read it thoroughly before filing your claim and making recorded statements to claims investigators. If you have any doubts about any part of the process, it may also be wise to seek the advice of an attorney. The initial consultation is almost always costs nothing and is helpful.

Reporting The Accident – Filing A Claim With Insurance Co

So, the way this is supposed to work depends on several factors. Chief among them is whether everyone is adequately insured and if the police deem anyone involved to be at fault.

No Fault Accidents

If nobody is at fault, then each party files a claim with their own insurance company. Filing a claim assumes, of course, that damages exceed your deductible. If vehicle and property damages are less than your deductible, it makes more sense to get your vehicle repaired after shopping around.

At Fault Accidents

In my case, the other driver was at fault. I verified this by downloading a copy of the police report in the city of the accident. Since the accident was the other driver’s fault, I filed a claim with their insurance company using the information exchanged at the accident scene and on the police report. You don’t file a claim with your insurance company if the other driver is at fault, according to the police report. Sometimes, it’s rather apparent, but other times not so much, so don’t assume anything until you’ve read the police report.

Had the accident been my fault, I would have notified my insurance company. The other party would have filed a claim with my insurance company for any injuries or damages they suffered.

As I understand it, according to my insurance agent, you want to avoid filing a claim through your insurance carrier if the other party is clearly at fault. I know that seems counter-intuitive, but that seems to be good advice. You file your claim for damages with the other party’s insurance co. Suppose you suspect a lack of responsiveness or some improper follow-up; you may want to get your agent on the phone and have a conversation.

Also, if the accident involved serious injury or death related to the accident, you should consider seeking the advice of legal counsel before filing your claim and making statements.

It’s also worth noting that tape recorders are rolling when you are talking on the phone. Be mindful of what you are saying, as it could be misconstrued and used against you. Keep to facts as best you know them. Also, keep the conversation on point and concise.

Accidents deemed “no-fault” by the police require each party involved to file insurance claims with their respective insurance companies. The insurance companies have established protocols for sorting things out between themselves. Once they’ve had a chance to investigate the claims, the insurance companies start writing checks and settling with everybody.

File Your Insurance Claim ASAP

As it turns out, complications sometimes arise during the claim investigation that may delay your getting back up and rolling again. So the earlier you can get a jump on the process, the better. No matter how great your carrier is, they will need to go through their routine before cutting checks. The Insurance Co will need to investigate and collect a lot of information related to your claim, so you want to get a jump on things.

In my case, it turns out the other driver had no policy in effect at the time of the accident. They got the insurance card and renewed registration, then canceled their policy. They were rolling the dice and driving uninsured. There is no way to know that at the accident scene since the paperwork all checks out. The problem for me is that it took about a week for me to find this out. That was precious time lost with no progress fixing my motorcycle. Notification about the denial of my claim took about seven days, at which time my only option is to file a claim with my insurance company instead. Thankfully I had Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. But, now everything has to be restarted from the beginning.

Consider Using A Crash Detection App

The Life 360 phone app happened to be installed on my phone when I went down. Typically I use it to rendezvous with friends who also have the app on their phones. It allows us to keep track of everyone’s location at any given time during riding events or trips. It’s handy for our group rides, primarily if we get split up. But, Life 360 also has a feature called crash detection, and when it senses a potential crash, it will try to verify if you just dropped your phone or something. If it cannot confirm, the app assumes the worst and carries out your notification wishes. It will automatically text or call emergency contacts and tell them what happened and precisely where you went dark.

One thing I can say is that the app works! After sensing the crash and getting no immediate response from me, the app notified several regular riding friends and family members. If the injuries were more severe or even fatal, our loved ones would know a lot to help them contact the authorities. In particular, those notified by the app would have your exact location and time. This information would enable family and friends to track you down quickly, even if you are seriously injured.

I know there are several mobile phone apps out there that have the crash detection and notification feature. I believe all riders should consider enabling one on their mobile phones, especially if you ride solo or 2-up with no others. Should you tangle with a cow or a deer resulting in a severe injury, this app might save your life on a less traveled country road.

Quit Being So Cynical About People

There Are So Many Amazing Helpful Caring People Out There!

I re-discovered that extraordinary people are always around us in time of need. Many will not hesitate to stop and check on you and render aid or assistance if they can. Just moments after my crash, I am getting up off the freeway with dozens of things running through my head. Among those things was concern over getting run over by a passing car! Thankfully, drivers who saw what happened stopped and blocked traffic for us. Now, on the side of the road, adrenaline galore pumping through the body, I’m trying to collect myself and assess if all my parts are there and working the way they’re supposed to be working. One lovely person was already on the phone with 911 and giving them an assessment. Another set of Good Samaritan folks came over and asked if we could use some help getting the motorcycle upright and off to the shoulder. After noting that we had photos and videos of the scene, I accepted their assistance to move my bike.

Roadside Assistance Coverage Is Good

AAA, HOG, AT&T Mobile, State Farm, GEICO, etc., all may very well offer a roadside assistance plan for a few bucks per month. It’s worth your time to think about roadside assistance and shop for something that fits. At the very least, it’s handy for breakdowns, dead batteries, and flat tires. They can even help if you happen to run out of gas.

As far as towing after an accident goes, do yourself a favor and ask enough questions to understand what each plan offers, exactly, as well as any limitations. Towing up to 50 miles may be perfect for you, but if you need more, you need to understand what happens if you need to be transported 200 miles to the nearest repair facility.

Motorcycle Tow Trucks, Towing, And Storage

Police will be interested in clearing a scene as quickly as possible, which means get vehicles off the roadway and taken to wherever. The vital thing to know now is that they do not give a darn what happens to your motorcycle; they want it gone.

Tow truck drivers are listening to scanners and are probably already on their way after someone dials 911. Each tow truck is usually associated with one or more local storage facilities where they will take your vehicle unless you have some specific plans otherwise. You will want to keep control of this part if at all possible.

Your motorcycle should get towed to a place of YOUR choice since nearly any business is better than the default city storage location. Preferably you can use a tow service provided by your roadside assistance provider.

Motorcycles require special tow trucks. If the bike can roll, it will need a flatbed tow truck. After the crash, I couldn’t get my bike out of second gear, and I was miles from anywhere, so I really couldn’t ride it anywhere. So, I rode it up onto the flatbed tow truck, and the driver secured it with straps.

If you have stuff that broke and is dangling by wires, etc., some cable ties come in handy to secure it for the trip. Every motorcyclist should have a few cable ties stashed on their bike for emergencies.

Get your stuff out of the storage areas of your bike and take that with you. There’s a pretty good chance that things will disappear off your bike along the way. Make sure you grab anything you care about asap and take it with you.

Conclusion: I Wish I’d Known This Stuff Before My Motorcycle Crash. HTH You!

After all these years, I finally had the ugly and unpleasant experience of being involved in a collision between me and my motorcycle and a car. The driver of the vehicle wasn’t paying attention, and they hit me on a busy Interstate. All told, I feel very fortunate that my injuries were minimal, and I walked away. Some of that was good fortune, but some of that was my years of experience and good equipment too. The damage to my beautiful Harley Road Glide is extensive but repairable. As I write this article, I am 2-weeks into an estimated 8-12 week-long wait. There are many things I could have done differently or better before, during, and after the accident that would have helped me. In this article, I’ve tried to list those things out for your consideration. If even one thing I’ve written here enables just one rider, then it was worth it. Ride safe! Deuces.

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