Fortunately for myself, I have been driving for almost 40 years and I have never had a serious accident. I did have a couple of fender benders as they say, but these were very minor accidents.
But accidents do and will occur, sometimes there is little we can do to avoid them, and they may even be our fault. So what should you do if you find yourself in an accident situation.
Different types of accidents can call for different thing to do, but in general most of the advice out there is generic in that there are some basics. Of course depending on whom provides the advice will depend on the “slant” they may give in what to do.
In working for a law firm many years ago, the solicitors there always advised anyone in an accident not to say anything, especially anything that may make it look like they were at fault. No utterances, no I’m sorry, etc, just get the details and that is that.
And really the first thing to do if you are involved in an accident, after stopping, is making sure no on is injured and if they are seeking proper medical help by phoning 999 if needed, is to get the other drivers and all passenger’s details.
Remember no matter how minor you think an accident may be, you must stop; by not doing so you are committing an offence under the Road Traffic Act.
There is a school of thought after an accident about making sure the vehicles involved are in a safe position and not blocking traffic or causing another possible accident, but sometimes moving the vehicles can make it difficult to see actually how the crash occurred.
Getting the details and information at the time of the accident, things such as date and time, the other driver and all passenger’s details, details of the car in question, noting any damage, insurance details of the other driver, and any details of the police that may be there to place a report.
You will need to provide you details to the other driver as well.
Many people these days use their mobiles to take photos at the accident scene of both vehicles involved. This is a good idea and can be helpful later on as well.
If more than one vehicle is involved in the accident, then all details need to be exchanged by all drivers.
If someone refuses to provide you their details, make sure you get the plate/registration number and full description of the vehicle, and in some instances dialing 999 especially if they just drive off.
If there were any witnesses to the accident, getting their details is important as well. Some people will approach you and state they saw what happened. You need all their contact details and ask them what they witnessed.
If you are involved in an accident with a parked car, you need to make an attempt to locate the owner/driver, and if you cannot find them, you should leave all your details on the windscreen. Be sure to get the details of the car, and also the time and date.
Car accidents need to be reported to the police within 24 hours. By not doing this you could face a fine, penalty points or even disqualification.
Keep in mind that this is true also for accidents involving hitting an animal or an inanimate object such as a bollard or street lamp. All accidents must be reported.
Once you have all this information, you need to contact your insurer to make them aware of the accident. they can then talk you through what needs to be done.
A few items you may wish to keep in your car just in case you are involved in an accident, or witness an accident are a first aid kit, warning triangle, and a blanket.
Accidents can be scary things to witness and be involved in, but safe driving practices and being alert and aware can help to minimise them.