What to Do When in a Crash
Some of us are fortunate enough to have little to no experience of the distressing reality of a crash. Truth is, no one expects to be involved in an accident. But the unthinkable can happen in the blink of an eye – whether it is your fault or that of the next person. A crash – no matter how small or big it is – can cause you shock and get your adrenaline pumping. For this reason, it is important that you remain abreast with post-accident procedures, before the unexpected happens.
A Step by Step Crash Guide
No matter how minor you think the crash is, it is your legal obligation as a driver to stop as soon as it is safe to do so. Turn off your car’s engine, and if possible, switch on your hazard lights, indicator lights, or headlights, to light up the scene if it is dark already, and most importantly, alert incoming drivers about the accident. In the event of a crash where no other driver is involved, for instance, if you hit a parked car, you are legally required to leave your details on the vehicle’s windscreen.
· Call for Help
The safety of you and any other person involved in the crash is priority. Check with the other drivers for injuries and call 911 if medical assistance is immediate needed. If anyone is killed or injured, or the other driver refuses to stop or exchange details, call the police for assistance. You should also call the police if the other driver seems like they may be drunk, or significant damage has been done to things other than the vehicles. It is important that you call the police in the event of a hazardous situation, and it is your duty to ensure the crash scene is not tampered with until the police arrive.
· Do Not Admit Responsibility
Avoiding taking the blame for the crash and discussing any terms for settlement until you sure about the details of the case, even if you think it was your fault. Your legal contract with your insurance provider states that you must not assume liability or responsibility after an accident. So it is ideal that you let your insurance company handle it, as any contrary action could count against you if you change your mind in future.
· Swap the Details
Once you have determined the safety of everyone involved in the accident, it is now time to swap the following details:
1. Date, time, and location of the crash
2. The full names, telephone number, and address of the driver and passengers involved.
3. Registration number, model, color, and make of the vehicles involved.
4. Details of damages done to the vehicles involved in the crash.
5. Details of police officers and witnesses at the crash scene.
6. A description of any unusual situation you notice like the road quality, the condition of the other driver(s) e.g. if they were drunk.
· Take Photos if Possible
Most mobile devices today have quality cameras that you can use to take photos to help you remember relevant details about the crash, for evidence sake. You can take photos of the vehicles involved, the damages, road layout, and any skid marks.
· Call your Insurance Company
Talk to your insurance company immediately, or as soon as you can, about the crash, whether you need to make a claim or not. If you have taken photos, you will need to provide them and keep in touch with your insurance provider to keep track of how they are managing the process.
Crashes can be frustrating and stressing. Both you and any other persons involved will be shaken up, so it is ideal that you take a moment to gather your thoughts and keep calm. Even if the other driver is aggressive, try not to get emotional so the situation does not get out of hand.