May 30th, 2013 in Car Safety
We all assume it’ll never happen to us; which is perhaps why so many of us are unprepared in the event of a car accident. Follow these steps below to stay safe and avoid breaking the law in case you are involved in a minor accident.
Make sure everyone is okay
The first thing you must do if you’re involved in a road accident, is assess whether anyone is injured, including passengers and pedestrians. If anyone is hurt, call an ambulance straight away.
If it’s a minor incident, the chances are that there won’t be any injuries. However, you must be aware that some injuries may not show up until sometime afterwards.
Move your vehicle to a safe place
Move your vehicle to a safe position (if possible). Leaving your vehicle to block the road will only increase the chances of another driver crashing into you, escalating the accident and making injuries more likely.
Indicate your intentions to the other driver, find a secure spot in the immediate vicinity and park the car.
If the other driver is in a fit state to do so, exchange your details with them and anyone else who has reasonable grounds to see them. Provide your name, address, vehicle registration number, and the name and address of the owner if the vehicle is not yours.
Take note of the other driver
If you can, try to get a good look at the other driver and their car. There’s always the possibility that they may drive off in an attempt to escape the blame, in which case any identifying details you remember will help the police track them down.
Try to memorise the number plate of the other car in particular.
Whether you were directly involved in the accident, or the presence of your vehicle was a possible cause, you are legally obliged to stop at the scene and provide your details if any of these occur:
* Someone other than yourself is injured
* Another vehicle or someone else’s property (e.g. a garden wall) is damaged in the accident
* An animal (besides any animals in your vehicle or trailer) is killed or injured
Reporting to the police
If someone else is injured, you must also produce your insurance certificate, or report the accident to the police (either at a police station or face to face with an officer) within 24 hours (and as soon as you can).
If you do not have the certificate with you at the time of the incident. Once you’ve reported the accident to the police, you must take your insurance certificate to the police station within seven days.
Reporting the accident to the police must be done in person – simply calling the police is not enough, and you may not delegate the reporting to someone else. Failing to stop, or failing to report, can land you with a maximum fine of £5000 and five to ten penalty points on your license for either offence.
You can even be banned from driving (especially if you’re committed both offences during the same incident)
Notify your insurer
Make sure you report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, even if you aren’t the one making the claim. If you do not let them know, you’ll break the terms of your insurance policy and your insurer could refuse to give you cover in the future.
Also, be aware that the other driver may request your insurance details at a later date – it is also an offence to withhold the details without a reasonable excuse.
This is a guest post written by Autobulbs Direct, who provide car and motorcycle bulbs for a huge range of vehicles.