No one ever expects to be in a car accident, but there is always a chance that it could happen to you.
MTA has provided some tips that can help you to prepare for an accident, and what you should do if you find yourself involved in one.
Firstly, have a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and a safety triangle handy. These will be helpful items if you are involved in an accident or witness one.
A car accident can ruin your day – people may be injured, and serious damage to your vehicle and that of others, can occur in seconds. You may also have to deal with liability issues which can carry huge costs. Ensure your vehicle is insured. If you do have an accident, you should be covered for any damages that may be caused.
If you are involved in an accident, try to stay calm. Panic can cause others to become hysterical or alarmed, which will make the situation worse. Take a deep breath and think about what you need to do.
Check for any injuries to you and the people in your vehicle. If everyone is OK and you are able to, check that the occupants of the other vehicle are uninjured. There may be some basic first aid treatment that you can attend to – otherwise, if the injuries are more serious, you will need to call 111.
If it is safe to do so, switch on your hazard lights on and get out of your vehicle. Otherwise, move your vehicle to a safe spot that is not blocking traffic. If you can't get out of your vehicle, or it is not safe, stay in the car, call 111 and wait for help to arrive.
See if there are any witnesses to the crash. If anyone else saw what happened, ask them to stay on the scene so they can provide statements about their view of the accident.
Look for the other driver's license plate number and make and model of the vehicle they are driving. Exchange personal information, such as name, address, phone numbers, their insurance company (and policy number if possible) of all drivers involved in the incident. If a driver doesn't own the vehicle, be sure to get the owner's details as well. This information will be very helpful for insurance purposes after the initial shock of the accident.
If the other driver is aggressive and uncooperative, record any information you can about the vehicle (e.g. number plate, make and model) and report the incident to police.
If the accident is a minor one, note down anything you remember. Describe what happened with notes and images of how the accident occurred. You could even take pictures of the scene including any damage to vehicles, the roads, traffic signs and the direction the cars were travelling in. This information could be very helpful to authorities.
If you need to, file a claim with your insurance company. If the accident was minor and your car does not need extensive repairs, it may cost less to pay for the repairs, rather than take out an insurance claim. You should still notify the insurance company of the incident, regardless of the damage caused.
If you are a witness to an accident, stop and give assistance. If you find that someone is injured, call 111 and ask for help.
Have you proudly just purchased your first car, or are you one of those vehicle owners who would love to know the basics but hasn’t had the chance to learn or no one you know can show you? Then you need to check out our 'How to' series!
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