Car Accident Keep Calm and Think Straight
by Jonathan Clensy |
posted 28 February 2017
Even a minor car accident is unnerving. And just at a time when you need a clear head, emotions can overreach you and you find it hard to think straight. But, if you are ever involved in a car accident, here are some reminders to help not to make a difficult situation even worse.
First of all, remember that if you are involved in an accident, you must stop. Not doing so or failing to report an accident you’ve been involved in is a serious offence. It can result in a large fine, disqualification from driving or even prison.
The things that the law expects you to recognise as an accident include an injury to yourself or another person, damage to another vehicle, damage to road signs or other street furniture and injuring or killing an animal.
What you must do is stop and remain at the scene for a reasonable amount of time and exchange your details with the other people involved at the scene. If for some reason you were unable to give you details to the other party, then you must report the accident at a police station or to a police officer within 24 hours and preferably as soon as you can.
You will need to show proof of insurance. But if you don't have it at the scene or even when reporting the accident to the police, you have 7 days to produce it. It’s important to remember, that even if you were not directly involved in the accident, if your vehicle was a factor in the accident occurring, you are obliged to do this.
Information for the Insurance Company
Even if you don’t want to claim yourself, you should report the accident to your insurance company within a reasonable time. The information that you will need to give would be the date, time and location of the accident, as well as the weather and traffic conditions, and any road markings or signs that would be significant.
They will need to know the make, model and registration number of all the vehicles involved; their estimated speed and direction and whether they were using lights or indicators at the time may well be important. The people involved too, their names and addresses, including all the passengers. And any injuries or the damaged caused will need to be described.
Taking photographs of the damage can be excellent proof of events and their outcome later on, and with today’s smart phones, easy to do. Try and keep calm and think straight. Collect as much information at the scene as you can, it will help you out a great deal later on.