After the Crash: Five Things to Do

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By John Burns

Well, it’s not going to happen to me, because I’m so skilled and experienced, but it does happen to people I know on a regular-enough basis that I sometimes wonder what the actual odds really are of me being next to crash a motorcycle? The longer you ride, the more that old saying about there being two kinds of riders applies: those who’ve crashed and those who are going to crash. Most of us of a certain age fall into both categories. As with all of life’s inevitable calamities, of which we seem to have even more than usual lately (fires, floods, pandemics, armed assaults…) it really pays to plan ahead – even if the plan is just to be aware of how best to react in the immediate aftermath. Some things that seem obvious in hindsight aren’t always that way in real time. Here are five things to keep in mind in the hope that being aware of them will be like always carrying a tire repair kit and, therefore, never getting a flat.

1. Get out of harm’s way

If you’ve suffered a hearty whack or long tumble, and are fortunate enough to come to rest not in a traffic lane or a swiftly flowing river or a tiger enclosure, congratulate yourself and relax for a sec. Just don’t move after you come to rest. The natural reaction is to jump up and say “I’m fine!” Resist that. Lay there. Wiggle your fingers and toes before you do anything else. If your extremities are all working and reporting in, that’s a good thing. Move on to your elbows, ankles, knees, neck – and if they’re all working, then you can sit up and assess the situation. If you feel like you just woke up, that’s because you were knocked out …read more

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