What to Do in the Case of a Car Accident
It's natural to be flustered after you've had a car accident, even if it's only a minor one. But if you find yourself in that unfortunate situation, staying calm and following these steps will help ensure your safety and also lay solid ground for a future insurance claim.
First of all, look after your safety. Get out of the way of any moving traffic, or stay in your car if that's the safest place to be. Turn on your hazard lights, and if you have a reflective emergency sign or road flares available, use them to warn other drivers of the obstruction.
Call the Police
If the police aren't already present, call to inform them of the accident. It doesn't matter how minor the incident might have been, you should contact them, and they can decide for themselves whether or not they need to be present.
Document the Scene
Next, use your smartphone to document the accident by taking photos of your car from every angle, as well as the position and condition of any other vehicles involved, any damage to property, and so on.
Move Your Car
If safe to do so, and if your car is mechanically capable, you should now move it to a safe position by the side of the road. Keep your hazard lights on and wait for the emergency services to arrive.
Record the Details
It's important to make a record of what happened while the details are fresh in your mind. Using the voice recorder on your phone, or just a pen and paper, make a note of the following:
The date and time of the incident.
The weather, road surface, and traffic conditions.
Your location and direction of travel.
Your estimated speed at the time of the collision.
A description of what happened.
At this point you should also take the contact details of any other drivers and potential witnesses.
Contact Your Insurer
Lastly, contact your insurance company to let them know what's happened. You don't need to formally make a claim at this point, but quickly registering the incident will be helpful if you later decide to proceed. Also, your insurer can advise on any further steps you need to take, as well as helping you to arrange a tow to a repair centre if your car isn't movable under its own power.