Please Report Crashes
OK, a crash isn’t the most pleasant thing to think about, and it can hurt too! But CRW needs to know about crashes.
The first action that needs to be taken following a crash, of course, is to get help as needed. That has generally worked well on our rides. Other riders have assisted in calling for assistance and caring for the bicycle, if it is not ridable or the rider had to be transported for medical care.
There was an instance though last year where a rider was injured, and nobody reported to the club for several months, until she finally e-mailed me. That is not OK. If you have a crash, witness one or assist following one, please inform the ride leader, who is responsible for reporting to the Rides VP and Safety Coordinator. We need to know the who, when, where and how. We can take it from there.
The Rides Committee will be working over the winter to develop a comprehensive plan on crash scene management and will make it available to all club members.
And as Safety Coordinator, I want to have robust data so I can sift through the information and gather conclusions.
I already know enough to establish that our rides are quite safe. Serious injuries are infrequent. We need to be able to back up that statement with more robust evidence, though, in case anyone raises questions about or rides program. Please also let the safety coordinator know of crashes which occur outside our rides. This reporting adds useful information about crash hotspots and crash types.
Avoiding crashes and the resulting unhappiness is much easier if we know how they are happening, and why. As your Safety Coordinator, I want to be able to provide that useful information in this column.
You will want to know this too. How can I say that? I had a talk with CRW President Larry Kernan recently, and he brought up an example with which I too, was familiar. The most popular recurring column in the Appalachian Mountain Club bulletin reports on mishaps, some minor, some serious and even fatal. (I call them mishaps, not "accidents," which would imply that they are not preventable.) People read the column because they want to learn the lessons it offers. We in CRW can do the same for ourselves.
Actually, I don’t want to hear of crashes, because I don’t want there to be crashes. But when there is one, then we, too, need to learn the lessons it offers.
Personal details can be held in confidence if preferred. Our interest is in collecting aggregate information.