What to do if you are involved in a cycling collision with an animal

It is thankfully rare that animals get hurt by cyclists.
Dog after an operation with a cone
Dog after an operation with a cone
Victoria Hazael's picture

What to do if you are involved in a cycling collision with an animal

What should you do if you are involved in a cycling related incident with an animal? Here is some advice from Slater and Gordon Lawyers, they’ve been representing Cycling UK members in relation to cycling accidents, crashes and incidents since 2002.

Animals unfortunately don’t understand the concept of oncoming traffic. It’s not unheard of for animals from farms, wild animals or pets to wander on to a road into the path of oncoming traffic and cyclists.

When this happens, it can cause quite serious accidents which can injure both the cyclist and the animal.

If you are unfortunate enough to collide with an animal while cycling on the road, cycle lane or bridleway here are some things you should do:

Steps you should follow after a cycling collision with an animal:

  • Check yourself.
  • Check the animal if safe to do so (if it hasn’t run away injured). If able, make your way to a safe place out of the way of traffic and try to cordon off the injured animal if possible.
  • If you are injured seek medical assistance for yourself if needed.
  • If the animal is injured, call emergency services (999) for the police and inform them of the injured animal as they’ll need to clear the road as soon as possible. 
  • Assess the damage to your bike.
  • Take note of your surroundings and if there’s an obvious location the animal has come from, e.g. a farm. Make a note of the farm and farmer details and inform them of the accident.
  • Take contact details for any witnesses.
  • If you are able, take photos of the scene, of the animal, damage to your bicycle and your injuries.
  • Depending on the severity of your injuries, seek medical attention either in A&E or with your local GP.
  • Contact the Cycling UK Incident Line on 0330 107 1789 for assistance in either making a claim for your injuries or damage to your bicycle.

More information on reporting injured or dead animals can be found on gov.uk where there is also a complete list of charities and and advice on reporting stray animals. 

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