Why Every Cyclist Should Think About A GPS

From Black Dog Pro Cycling comes this outstanding article on why every cyclist, but especially those who ride on the road regularly, should ride with a Garmin or other GPS device tracking their ride.

The author was in a crash. It seemed simple enough, until the motorist lie…er… decided the facts told to the officer would vary from reality.  The cyclist didn’t realize the impact of a Garmin at the scene of the crash.  The police were reluctant to believe the cyclist without further proof and all other witnesses had left.

Later, after getting home, the cyclist realizes the importance of the Garmin. He downloads the data, and there it is – his path, with real timestamps, showing that what he told the cop was true.

Sadly, the cops refused to accept the ex post facto presentation.  Had he been severely or critically injured, I would hope they would reconsider but since it was a “minor” crash, they probably didn’t want to go through the hassle of re-opening their paperwork.  [On a side note, the best response of a “minor” injury was by my client’s doctor… when defense counsel tried to get him to admit that the client’s injury was “minor” he said, “It depends on if it’s your back or mine – if it’s MINE, it is NOT “minor” at all…”]  Fortunately, his INSURER did accept his gps evidence with gps asset tracking!

In a case I worked on, a death case, the cyclist’s gps was used to confirm both his path and speed – proving that he wasn’t speeding as he approached the intersection where he was hit and killed by a left turning pick-up truck.  In a new case I am handling, the cyclist’s gps shows his path and speed and precisely where the drunk motorist clobbered him!  These are very powerful tools, and very powerful pieces of evidence.

So take a tip from Black Dog Cycling, and ride “protected” with your gps.

Printed from: https://ohiobikelawyer.com/uncategorized/2011/01/why-every-cyclist-should-ride-with-garmin/ .
© 2024.


  • Jim Reed says:


    Great article. I represented a cyclist in Upstate NY where the 80 year old defendant who rear-ended my client tried to argue that my “client came out of nowwhere like a bat out of hell”. He told the police the cyclist was going “at least 30 mph”. My client’s GPS confirmed a speed of 16mph. Needless to say, the driver’s credibility was zilch! The key piece of advice to our clients is to make sure they preserve this important evidence and get it to their bicycle accident lawyer.

    Jim Reed
    NY & PA Bike Accident Lawyer

  • Steve Magas says:

    Thanks Jim. GPS is powerful stuff. In a current case I have you can see the dots on the map just stop where my guy was clobbered by a hit/run motorist…

  • clever-title says:

    Helmet cameras are also an excellent tool for countering the “the cyclist must be lying, and the motorist must be telling the truth” bias. However, you don’t get the instrumentation value of speed and direction that you do with a GPS.

  • Steve Magas says:

    I think helmet cams are especially great for riders who regularly travel in areas particulary prone to over or under policing, harassment, etc…


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