What do you do if you have a minor collision with another vehicle on the road? Read the following car accident survival tips, a minute by minute guide.
First 30 Seconds
- Stay in the car
- Put your emergency flashers and headlights on full beam
- Switch off the engine
- Apply the parking brake
- Take deep breaths
- Check your passengers, especially children and old people are OK
- Call 911 if anyone is injured
Second 30 seconds, if no-one is more than shaken up
- Check for signs of aggression from the other driver
- If other driver is aggressive, stay in the car and ring the police
- If other driver is behaving in a reasonable way, open your door and get out
- Remember that everyone has elevated adrenaline levels in this situation and strive to think – calm
- Call the police
Next 4 Minutes
- Consider whether your passengers are safer inside the car or outside.
- Ask nearby drivers for their details and if they would be willing to act as witnesses.
- Talk to the other driver, but never admit any responsibility for the accident.
- Leave the car where it is, until the police have arrived, even if it is causing an obstruction.
Next 5 Minutes
- Take photographs of cars and license plates. Discretely try to include the other driver in your shots.
- Take photos of the junction and road layout where the accident happened. Include road condition and weather.
- Make notes. Was the other car driving with headlights? Was the other driver wearing glasses, or sunglasses? Did the other driver seem distracted by children or anything else in the car. Was the other driver drinking, using a phone or smoking when the accident happened?
Next 15 minutes:
- By now the police should have arrived. Answer their questions and stay calm.
- Tell the police officer of any observations that are relevant, such as if the other driver was using a phone, or had no lights on.
- Move your vehicle once the police officer has completed any measurements or other necessary observations.
- Ask the police officer what the next stage is. Will there be any prosecution?
- The police officer may give you an indication whether your vehicle is safe to drive home.
- Make sure the police officer gives you an Incident Number and his or her name and number.
- If your vehicle cannot be driven call a vehicle recovery service.
The foregoing article was written by the author based on experiences he has had. This article is not stated as a legal opinion or as fact but instead is stated as opinion of the author.
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