Do You Know What to Do in an Accident?
It is perhaps one of the most useful things to know, yet most of us don’t – what do we do if we're involved in an accident? Whether you're a driver or a pedestrian, there's a good chance that at some point in your life you'll either be involved in a collision or be a witness to one, so it's essential to fully understand the right and wrong things to do. This questionnaire outlines some of the most important steps to follow in an accident and asking yourself whether you really know them could save your life one day.
What is the First Thing You Should Do in an Accident?If you're involved in an accident as a driver, but are uninjured or only have a minor injury, the first thing you should do is ensure that any other individuals involved are being taken care of. Move individuals away from the scene if you're sure they're not in a critical way and immediately call the emergency services. If you've been badly injured, it's important you remain where you are and try and stay calm. If you're simply a witness to an accident, try to help any injured parties and immediately call for help.
What Should You Do if Someone is Badly Injured?If you are a witness to an accident where someone is badly injured, or you're involved, but are yourself only suffering from minor injuries, you should immediately call for emergency services. If someone is badly injured, do not move them – doing so could injure them further. Instead, administer first aid, if you're aware of what you're doing, or alternatively simply try to keep them calm and as comfortable as possible. Knowing basic first aid is essential in many areas of life, so if you have some basic training, use it. Never remove a motorcyclists helmet if they're badly injured or try to remove someone from their injured position if you suspect any broken bones etc.
Who Should You Call First in an Accident?This is entirely dependent on the collision and the extent of the damage, but in most cases you will either call the police, ambulance or fire brigade first. If the accident is going to cause danger to other motorists, call the police immediately. If someone is badly injured, call for an ambulance. You'll know which to do at the scene. If everyone is fine and it is merely property damage, call the police to report the incident. Always give them as much information as you can as the police report may be used at a later date.
What Evidence Should You Document At the Scene?
At the scene of the accident, it's essential to document as much as possible. If you're uninjured, make sure that you're getting the names of any witnesses who are nearby. It's also very helpful to take photographs of all aspects of the accident. Use your camera phone, or alternatively keep a disposable camera in your car. Once you've got as much evidence this way as possible, make sure that you collect the details you need from the other driver – name, address, registration and insurance.
Should You Call Your Insurance Company or Will the Police Do This?If you're capable of calling your insurance company from the scene of the accident and you've already dealt with any injured parties and obtained as much evidence as possible, it's certainly worth calling them immediately. Your insurance company are there to work with you, not against you. This can expedite your claims process and will help in the long-run with any compensation claims.
It is your obligation as a responsible driver to know the answers to all the questions above. Doing so means that you're taking responsibility for your own actions as well as being able to help others on the road, and this can be life altering.