What should you do if you hit a pothole?

31 May 2019

Potholes are an increasing menace on London’s roads and cause of cycling accidents. With one in five roads nationwide are blighted with them nationwide, some cyclists do fall victim to the pothole, and can suffer life changing injuries as a consequence. It is therefore extremely important to take certain steps when you do hit a pothole – let’s have a look at those steps now.

Seven essential steps:

  1. Get out of danger. You may be injured after hitting a pothole and coming off your bike, but if a bus hasn’t seen you while you’re photographing it then you could bein serious danger.
  2. Check yourself for injuries. You may feel a numbness around a joint – this could be your body anaesthetising you from a nasty injury. Can you bend the affected limbs? If not, think about calling for help. Are you grazed or bleeding? Make your judgement and triage yourself.
  3. Photograph your injuries (if visible).
  4. Assess your bike. Is the wheel rubbing against the fork? It might be bent. Spin the wheel. Assess the fork – is the wheel closer to the frame than it was? That could mean the fork is bent. Look at the frame – are there any cracks? If the machine is carbon, check for softness in the material. If it is, it is now dangerous to ride and you need to get the machine to a bike repair shop.
  5. Photograph any damage to the frame. Treat this like a crime scene – the police won’t likely deal with it as it is a civil matter so you need to carefully document all the issues that have arisen.
  6. The pothole. Photograph that in detail. If you have a coin then place it in the pothole to prove how deep it is.
  7. Report the pothole, along with photographic evidence and exact location to Cycling UK’s Fill that Hole website which passes on reports to local authorities and the Highways Agency, and they are duty bound to fix it.

Do you have a claim?

If you have been injured to the point you have had to visit an A&E instead of completing your journey, or you have had significant damage to your bike, then you may be able to bring a claim. Call us here at Osborne’s Cycle Injuries and we will discuss your situation. The stronger the evidence you bring to us (such as a doctor’s report from broken bones) as well as evidence of the pothole, the better chance you have of a successful claim. Evidence of the pothole’s existence isn’t the only issue and as with any legal claim we cannot guarantee you will be compensated but we will gladly give you an assessment as to whether you have a strong claim.

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