What to do after a car accident

Posted by Motorama in Motoring Tips

Accidents happen, and the chances are at some point in your life you’ll be involved or exposed to one in a car.

This is a guide for you on what to do after a car accident, so keep calm and buckle up. Picture it now; you’re in peak hour traffic on your daily route to work, suddenly and unexpectedly the car in front of you hits the brakes hard from 40km/h, you react quickly and get your foot onto the brake pedal, but you can barely wipe off any speed before it happens.

Your front bumper is saying hello to the car in front.

Stay calm and stay safe

Don’t panic: the safety of you and those around you is paramount – don’t do anything that could endanger your own life or the lives of other motorists.

If you’re on a busy road, safely get out, take a couple of quick photos that clearly show what the damage to both cars is, then get back in and pull to the side of the road or into a side street out of harm’s way.

If the cars aren’t in any shape to be moved or relocated by you and the others involved. Get out and get yourself to safety away from the accident until help arrives. Note, that you shouldn’t admit to being at fault. That is what the insurance companies are to determine.

Call for an Ambulance

If anybody is injured, you will need to call for an ambulance to ensure that assistance arrives as soon as possible. You might be also requested to answer specific questions to help them identify the severity of the injuries.

Call the Fire and Rescue

We hope that you don’t experience this, but there could be a possibility that someone is trapped in a car or that there are even chemicals leaking form the vehicles involved. The Fire and Rescue service will be needed to help with both of these.

Call the police

In most instances, you only need to call the police if there are more than two cars involved. or if the incident is serious enough to warrant bodily harm or serious damage to your car. A minor fender bender will not require any emergency services.

Exchange details

If it was you that got hit, you’re going to want to get the details of the person who ran into you-including full name, phone number, who their insurance provider is and their vehicle’s registration number.

Their drivers licence is also usually required by the insurers. If you were at fault, you’ll need to give those same details to the other person involved.

Call your insurance company

It is generally the responsibility of the person at fault to call their insurance company and give them the details of the incident, that way any claims for insurance are not registered against the innocent party.

The insurance company will usually organise for a tow truck to collect the car if necessary. Otherwise, you should call for roadside assistance such as RACQ. If you’re a member they will provide you with discounted towing rates.

Carry on with your day

Remember, accidents really can happen to anyone, once your nerves have settled you can move on with your day like any other and arrange for a lift to your destination if your car is driving away on the back of a tow truck.

After the event, do also keep a note of any pain that you might be feeling. Sometimes some injuries don’t always present themselves immediately after an accident. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, it might be worthwhile visiting your doctor.

The best-case scenario when driving is to of course avoid an accident all together. Be aware of who and what is around you, this will let you react to any change in the circumstances.