Luckily, the majority of people manage to avoid the unwelcome experience of a road accident. If the unthinkable were to happen, the shock and stress are likely to interfere with your clear thinking ability. It pays to have a basic plan to put into place should you ever experience the awful reality of an accident on the roads.
Aim to Keep Calm
Without a doubt, you and the other driver will be considerably shaken. However, it is essential that you make the utmost effort to remain calm. Even if the other party tends to be aggressive, don't do or say anything that will escalate the situation.
Do not argue or make accusations
Do not admit fault
Remain composed and stick to dealing with the essential tasks at hand.
Move the Vehicle to Safety
You need to prevent holding up the traffic and any potential for further accidents.
Move the car to the side of the road if you are able to do it safely
If you cannot move the vehicle, activate the hazard warning lights to alert other road users.
Assist the Injured
Help with anyone who is hurt and immediately call an ambulance if there are serious injuries.
The one essential task needed is to ensure that the victim has a clear airway and is able to breathe until assistance arrives. In fact many more lives could be saved if all drivers had this basic first aid knowledge.
It is best not to move anyone who has been seriously injured to avoid damaging the spinal cord and wait for professional assistance.
Call the Police
When there are injuries or if the vehicles are severely damaged, the police need to be notified straight away. However, in situations where no one is injured, and the accident is minor, the police can be notified later on.
The basic information you need to acquire includes:
Location, time and date of the accident
The other driver's full name and address and phone number
Their car registration number and make and model of vehicle
Make sure to ascertain whether the other driver is actually the owner of the vehicle. If not, you will need to get the owner's details: full name, address and contact number.
Other useful details to get hold of:
A name and contact details of a person willing to be a witness
The name of the police officer and their police station number, if police attended the scene
The name of the car owner's insurance company and policy number if possible
Be Aware of Towing Procedures
Should your vehicle require a tow truck service, such as Lightning Towing, you have the right to decide which towing service will tow it and where it will be taken. The driver is required to hold accreditation and be a certified tow truck driver.
You need to authorise the driver of the tow truck by signing and receiving a copy of a Towing Authorisation Form.
In a situation where you are unable to do this because of injuries, a police officer can organise this and do it on your behalf.
It may be best to have your vehicle towed to your home initially.
It will allow time to make the best arrangements for its repair when you are less shocked and not under the immediate stress.
It will also provide the opportunity to discuss your claim in more detail with your insurance company and be in a better position to shop around for the most suitable repair work.
If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, the towing fee may be covered. If you were not at fault, there is also the chance that you can claim the costs of the towing fee from the other party.
Having this information at your finger tips is a distinct advantage that will help you cope with the formalities and take control if you should have the utter misfortune of being involved a road accident.