We all hope it’s something we can avoid, but unfortunately car accidents are all too common and it’s possible that each of us might find ourselves part of some form of accident (whether serious or minor) at some point in our driving career. So what should we do if this happens? You might think you know the steps to take in the event of an accident, but when the shock and adrenaline kick in, it can be hard to remember.
We have rounded up a few steps to take in order to protect yourself, your vehicle, and anyone else involved.
No matter what the circumstances of the accident, stop the car. Pull over in a safe position and turn the ignition off. Failing to stop your vehicle after an accident is an offence. It’s also advisable to turn your hazard lights on to make sure oncoming traffic is alerted.
Once you’ve stopped safely, take a second to assess the situation. Check any injuries you may have sustained and any injuries sustained by any passengers in your vehicle.
Depending on the seriousness of the injury, call 999 and ask for the Ambulance service immediately. Stay with any injured party or if you are injured, remain still until the Emergency Services arrive.
If you are unsure as to whether to call the Police, it is advised when:
The other driver departs the scene of the accident and does not leave their contact details.
If you suspect the other driver is under the influence of drink or drugs.
If you are concerned that the other driver does not have car insurance.
If you suspect that the accident may have been caused deliberately by the other driver.
It is useful to note that you can call the Police via the emergency 999 line or if you feel it is less urgent, via the 101 line.
Take note of some relevant information:
The make, model, colour, and registration plate of other vehicles involved in the accident.
Photos of the cars and their positions post-accident.
The time and date of the accident.
The driving conditions at the time, including weather, lighting, road conditions etc.
The details of any injuries sustained.
The names and contact information of all relevant individuals and witnesses.
Exchange information with the other driver including name, address, contact telephone number, and full insurance details. Also note down the names and details of any passengers in their car. Try to use formal ID to get this if you have any doubts.
Do not apologise or accept blame for any accident until you are fully aware of all of the circumstances surrounding the event. This can protect you from claims at a later date. It can also be useful to use a dash cam to protect yourself against any deliberate accidents.
If the accident has taken place with a parked car and a driver does not promptly appear, leave a note with your name, address, and contact number to allow them to contact you when they do return to their car.
Contact your insurance provider to discuss the accident and any claim you or the other parties may wish to make. Have as much detail about the accident available to allow your insurance provider to offer you the best possible assistance.