You drive safely, not only to protect yourself but also other users of the roads and the public space. But accidents can happen and they can occur in the blink of an eye. When things happen, you will have to rely on all the safety measures you have taken (and what car manufacturers have been putting in their automobiles) to avoid as much human injury as possible and, at the very least, death. Seatbelts, impact absorption zones and airbags will take care of that.
And if all goes well, then all the people involved can walk away, relatively unharmed. The cars, however, might not drive away that easily. And nobody will assume they will end up in an accident, but what do you do when it actually happens? Here’s a quick breakdown of what you should do in these kinds of situations.
Be Safe, Call Emergency Services if Needed, Exchange Details
Firstly, stop the car as soon as in a safe spot. Turn off your engine and switch on your hazards. If anyone is hurt, make sure to call an ambulance. They will most likely notify the police. Don’t apologize or admit any wrongdoings there and then, that’s for a later stage to decide. If the other driver tries to drive off or seems under the influence of alcohol or drugs, call the police straight away.
If you suspect foul play, you should also call the authorities. The ordinary course of action is for the drivers involved to exchange details, such as name and address. If for whatever reason, no contact details are exchanged, you will need to notify the police within 24 hours of the accident happening. This can happen, for example, when you hit a parked car, and no one is around. Sure you can leave a note on the windshield, but you will also want to make sure you can’t be accused of doing a hit and run. Just remember you will need the other person’s details for insurance purposes and reporting it via the police will cover your liability in that area.
Get the Insurer Involved
At this point, it’s sensible to document the damage. Use a camera to take pictures of your car, the other person’s car, and the surroundings. You might need these later to make a claim. Also, dependant on the state of your vehicle, you might be able to drive away. If you’re unsure, you can always call for a tow truck to either get your car home or to a garage. After this is done and you’re safely home, it’s time to let your insurer know. Do this as soon as possible, as filling out the forms will also require you to remember what happened as accurately as possible.
Use the photos you took as a way to jog your memory. Both insurance companies will make an assessment who is to blame and who will have to pay for the repairs. Then it’s up to the insurance policy to assess how much is covered. The worst scenario would be that you only have 3rd party liability and not full comprehensive insurance in the case you’re to blame. But even if you can’t afford a new car, there are always solutions, like Quick Car Credit. But the best course of actions is to always drive safe and be aware of other road users!