Car accidents are a scary business. According to a report by Budget Direct, 1,226 Australians were killed due to road-related accidents back in 2017. That averaged out to 3 deaths per day in that year. Just two years later, it’s highly improbable that things have improved all that much, if at all.
Even if you’re a safe driver, you can still get involved in a car accident through the fault of others. Therefore, it’s always best to know exactly what to do in such a situation. Here are the basic steps that you should follow in most cases:
Scan Yourself for Injuries
In the shock that occurs in the aftermath of a car accident, you may not feel any pain despite sustaining any injuries. Therefore the first thing you should do is to check yourself thoroughly for any injuries. If you find that you’re seriously injured, contact emergency services immediately.
Check On the Passengers
If you’re not indisposed and are able to move, proceed to check on any passengers that were travelling with you. If anyone is injured, either call emergency services or get a bystander to do so. If they’re badly hurt, an emergency operator will guide you on what you need to do until professional help arrives.
Get Yourself to a Safe Spot
Next, get yourself and any other passengers to safety. If you’re still able to drive your car and it’s currently obstructing the road, proceed to pull it over to the side of the road. If it’s not in a state to be drive, leave it behind and move to a safe spot.
Contact the Authorities
Regardless of how minor the accident is, it’s always a good idea to call the police. Officers will show up at the scene and fill out a report about the incident. Alternatively, you may be asked to come to the station and fill out the report yourself. A police report is mandatory if you want to make a claim with the insurance company.
Call a Towing Company
If your company is badly smashed up and in no state to be driven, you’ll have to contact a towing company to get it to a mechanic. In certain cases, the towing company may have space to hold your car and even perform some repairs. It’s best to ask the company beforehand whether they provide such services. If they say ‘Alright, you can bring your car here’ then proceed to do so.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver
Once you’ve executed all of the above steps, it’s time to exchange the following contact and insurance details with the other driver:
- Driver’s full name
- Phone number(s)
- Name of insurer
- Insurance policy number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Make, model and colour of vehicle
- Place where the accident occurred.
Make a Record of Everything That Happened
When you properly document everything that happened, you’ll have a better chance when making a claim with your insurer. Hence we recommend that you:
- Take down the name and badge numbers of all responding officers
- Obtain a report of the accident report
- Take plenty of pictures
- Get names of witnesses and write down their account of what happened.
Dealing with a road accident is quite scary and stressful. However, when you know exactly what you have to do, you’ll fare better at keeping yourself calm and composed.