(Photo Credit: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/three-cars-in...)
Car accidents suck. There's no winning- if you're hurt, then you're hurt. Even if you Houdini your way out unscathed, shelling out wads of cash stings just as much. How much worst could it possibly get? Depending on what you do next, a whole lot worst, or just a little better. Instead of adrenaline-induced rage, here's what you should do next!
1.Stop Your Vehicle
The first thing to do is to stop your vehicle. Sure, you could boast killer Forza skills, but in real accidents, you're a flailing mess in a rolling metal cage hurtling down the road.
Come to a stop, switch on the hazard lights, and make sure you're in the right condition to continue. When it's safe to exit your vehicle, make sure the other party is alright too. Take photos and videos of the damages done to both parties' vehicles before the vehicles are moved.
This will come in handy all the way through.
2. Call for Medical Assistance
If anyone is injured, call for both ambulance and police. It's important not to move the person unless they allow it. Who knows, that snap you heard while lifting up their arms was a fracture turned snap.
Wait for trained personnel to come and help. In the meanwhile, give space and room to breathe. Taking down numbers for the off chance of striking 4D can wait.
3. Warn other motorists
In the event of death or severe injury, vehicles and other articles of the accident shouldn't be moved unless instructed by the authorities. Instead, use breakdown signs, reflectors or any other appropriate devices to help redirect and warn others of the accident scene.
4. Move vehicles to a safe location
If there's no death, vehicles can be moved to the side of the road to prevent road blockage and obstructions that could cause further accidents. Remember to take photos and material for evidence before you move the vehicles! You could just mess up an insurance claim.
(Photo Credit: http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-hazard-lights.htm)
5. Exchange of Personal Particulars
Once everyone has calmed down, no one's shouting and it's time to be civil, you should exchange personal particulars.
Key things you should take down are:
- CONTACT NUMBER
- CARPLATE NUMBER (take a picture if necessary)
- NAME OF INSURANCE
Besides that, you should get the date, time and location of the accident. Remember to save any car camera evidence, and note down the names and numbers of eye-witnesses that can accurately describe what happened leading to the accident.
6. Official Report
By law, you're required to make a police report within 24 hours of the accident if any of the following were involved:
- Government/Government property
- Foreign Vehicles
It's important that you also make an official report to your motor insurance company. They'll advise you step-by-step on what to do next, regardless of severity.
Remember, being civil pays off more than venting the adrenaline. Don't attempt a hit-and-run, fight, or discuss liabilities straight away.
We get it. Car accidents suck, but following these steps helps the whole thing suck less. Stay safe and drive smart!