Crash course – what to do if you’re in an accident

While the amount of accidents on the road is decreasing year by year they’re still a very real risk for anyone travelling on the road. Travelling by car remains one of the most dangerous modes of transport around and it’s likely that many drivers will find themselves in an accident at some point.

But because it isn’t a regular occurrence not many know the procedure they should take when they find that they’re in a crash.

That’s why we’ve put together this quick course on what you should do in the event of an accident.

First things first – If you’ve had a collision with another driver the first thing you should do is ensure that no one is hurt. This is of paramount importance because if an injury is left unattended to it could quickly worsen. If someone has been injured ring the emergency services immediately.

It’s important that you remain calm too. You’re probably a little shook up from the incident but you’re going to need your wits about you. Take deep breaths and a few seconds out to compose yourself.

Stop – If you’ve damaged property or another vehicle then it’s a legal requirement that you stop. You should also note where the accident has taken place. If it’s a hazard to other drivers then you need ask someone to direct traffic until the emergency services arrive.

The other driver – If you have collided with another vehicle you’re going to have to communicate with whoever was in that vehicle. If they attempt to flee the scene you need to ring the police. Don’t let the other driver bully you into taking the blame either – make sure that you never admit liability regardless of whose fault it is; that’s something for the police to decide on. Try and note anything out of the ordinary about the driver too. Do they seem intoxicated? Were they holding a mobile? Was there anything unusual about their driving before the crash?

Don’t confront them about anything you note; just inform the police on their arrival.

Swap details – It’s essential that you swap details with the person you’ve been in an accident with as it’s going to help you further down the line. Take their car registration number, their name, their address, and their phone number.

If there’s been an accident that hasn’t involved another driver then you should inform the police as soon as it’s safe to do so.

What you shouldn’t do - Whilst there’s a long list of stuff that needs to be done, it’s important to note the things that you shouldn’t do in an accident too.

  • Lose your cool – It’s all too easy to become angry when your beloved motor has taken a hit, especially so when you know it wasn’t your fault. But losing your cool isn’t going to help anyone. Stay calm and tell the authorities everything you know of the incident.
  • Race away from the scene – This is a common issue. If you’re in an accident, don’t think you can get away with it by driving off. You could have left someone injured at the scene. Plus, the chances of someone catching your number plate as you speed away is likely.
  • Force blame on the other driver – Don’t try and blame the other driver outright. That isn’t your job. The police will gather the information to decide who’s at fault.

An action plan – As we said, most drivers will, at some point, find themselves in an accident, so why not be prepared? Keep pen and paper in your glove compartment to take down their details. Keep a camera to take pictures of the accident. Place a card in the car that details your medical allergies in case your collision is serious and keep a list of contacts with that slip of paper.

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