Accidents will always happen, despite our best efforts. And when they do, they usually take us by surprise. So it’s a good idea to be prepared and to have a reasonable idea of what to do in the event of an accident.
Here are a few simple things to remember if you’re involved in a traffic accident:
- First of all, don’t drive away. Even if it doesn’t seem serious, it’s a criminal offence to leave the scene of a traffic accident without first exchanging details or notifying the police. If there is any damage to property, or if anyone is injured, then you need to notify the police. You don’t have to do it straight away if it’s not serious, but it’s better to call them there and then if you are in any doubt.
- Do not attempt to move injured people. Loosen any tight clothing and try to keep them warm while you wait for an ambulance.
- Make sure everybody moves out of the way of traffic and try to keep everyone else away from the vehicles too.
- Do not move any of the vehicles unless they pose a danger to other traffic. Wait for the police to arrive before moving anything.
- You will need to give a consistent and accurate account to the police, and later to the insurance companies, therefore try to clear your head and remember exactly what happened.
- Get the other driver’s details: name, address and insurance company. Write down the make, model, registration number and colour of the other vehicle(s). It’s also advisable to write down the other driver’s licence number, if possible.
- If there are witnesses, get their names and phone numbers.
- Take pictures of the crash, they might come in handy later.
- Do not apologise, and do not admit any fault at the scene.
- Lastly, keep calm. Don’t panic, and don’t start abusing anyone, even if the crash was their fault.
If you follow these legal (and some common sense) steps, it will serve you well.