what to do after an accident

What to do immediately after a car accident

Do you know what to do after a car accident? Many people panic when they are involved in a car crash! You need to keep calm try not to get angry and follow these simple steps to stop a bad situation getting worse

1. You must stop!

The law states:
Even if the accident is not your fault, you must Stop and stay at the scene for a reasonable time if:

  • A person other than yourself is injured.
  • Damage is caused to another vehicle or someone else’s property.
  • An animal has been killed or injured, except in your vehicle.

Turn off the engine and switch on hazard indicators.

If the accident is serious or if anyone has been injured, you should contact the emergency services immediately.

2. Are there any injuries?

Check to see is somebody is hurt and if necessary call 999.
If anyone has injuries do not move them unless medically qualified the ambulance service will talk you through the best way to help until they arrive.

3. Is there a risk to other road users?

Are the damaged vehicles likely to cause a further accident?

You should call the Police (even if no one is hurt) if you believe the accident may be putting other traffic at risk:

  • Are the damaged vehicles are on a blind spot such as a bend or brow of a hill?
  • Is there spillage of petrol or oil?
  • Is it dark?
  • Has the accident blocked the road or causing traffic congestion?

You could warn other drivers of the hazard by setting up a Warning Triangle at least 45 metres behind the accident. A high visibility jacket should be worn regardless of daylight.

4. What “Not” to say at the scene of an accident

Don’t say “sorry” or accept blame at the scene of an accident.

Although you might think it’s totally your fault, investigators may decide other factors were more to blame for the accident.

5. Swapping details after an accident

When you are involved in an accident you should swap your details:

  • Name & address.
  • Contact number.
  • Name of their Insurer and Policy Number
  • Vehicle registration number and colour and model.
  • Vehicle Owner’s name and address (if different from the driver)
  • Also get the details of any passengers or witnesses as they could be very beneficial.

Call 999 straight away if a driver leaves the scene of the car accident without giving their details.

6. Take notes or use your mobile to record the scene of the accident

You will need these details when making a claim on your insurance and you’d be surprised how soon you may forget:

  • Time and date of the accident?
  • Where did the accident take place?
  • What were the weather conditions?
  • Were there any speed limits or other restrictions?
  • How did the accident happen?

If you can, take a photo on your mobile phone of the position of the cars and any damage to your vehicle.

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