As a driver, you may never expect to be in a car accident, but there is the unfortunate chance that it could happen out of the blue. Although you never want to think of the worst-case scenario, it’s important to understand what to do in such an event, so you’re able to solve issues quickly and calmly. If you are well prepared ahead of any collisions and understand how to deal with them once it has happened, you will prevent the situation from worsening and becoming more complicated.
In this guide, we’re going to provide some helpful information on what to do before and after a car accident:
1. Be prepared
First and foremost, it’s essential you are prepared for the worst-case scenario as a driver. It would be worth taking out an inexpensive policy that covers you in several situations. It is a legal requirement to have at least third-party cover. If in any doubt about what your policy includes, ask your provider what you’re covered for. It would be highly advised to change your policy to fully comprehensive to put you at ease, as you should be protected in all circumstances. This guide will give you helpful information on the best way to shop for auto insurance.
2. Stop the car immediately
As soon as the accident has happened, it is a legal requirement to stop the car at the scene. If it is not safe to stop in the exact spot of the accident and your vehicle’s position may cause a potential hazard, try and pull over in the safest area nearby. If it is impossible to move your car at the scene, alert those in the surrounding area to steer clear.
3. Check for injuries and inform emergency services
As soon as the car has been moved to a safe and sheltered location, the next step would be to check for injuries to your passengers and the other party if they are alone. Even if you spot only minor injuries, it would be advised to dial 911 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
In most cases, emergency services should be called, but this will typically depend on the severity of the incident. If passengers are stuck inside the vehicle or the road has become blocked as a result of the collision, police and fire brigade services will need to step in and manage the scene. It is not an uncommon occurrence for police to be held up and unable to reach the accident scene for several hours. In this case, pay a visit to your nearest police station and fill out a report. It is usually a legal requirement to do so within 3 days of the accident.
4. Collect details at the scene of the accident
Although you may be in a state of shock, it’s important to collect as much information as possible at the scene of the accident if you’re considering making an insurance claim. The details to make a note of include:
- The name, address, and contact details of involved drivers
- Car registration of involved vehicles
- The time and date of the accident
- Damage to vehicles (with photographs, if possible)
- Location of the accident
- Any injuries to involved parties