Nobody likes to think about having a car crash, but as the number of road users increases, it is highly likely that at some point in your driving career you may be involved in one. So, rather than simply hoping it never happens to you, here’s an article to show you what you need to do in the event of a car crash.
It seems obvious doesn’t it, but in the heat of the moment, you may panic and continue to drive. However, there is a legal requirement under the Road Traffic Act 1988 s 170 (2) that states that drivers must stop and exchange contact details with the other driver.
Even if the accident was not your fault and you didn’t think there was any damage, you must stop. If you fail to do so, you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours. Courts consider failing to stop after an accident a serious offence, and depending on the circumstance’s punishment can be:
- A fine up to £5,000
- Between 5 and 10 penalty points
- A driving ban
- 6 months in prison
2. Keep calm and stay safe
Being involved in a car accident can be terrifying, especially if you have children in the car too. If able, park the car somewhere safe and somewhere that won’t block the road for other users. Get all passengers and pets out of the vehicle if possible. If you are on a motorway or trunk road, you need to ensure that you stay a safe distance from the car and out of the oncoming traffic.
It is essential that you stay calm and as composed as possible. Keep communication with the driver simple, do not engage in conversation about whose fault it is or admit liability. This is so that if you make a claim with a company such as the-compensation-experts.co.uk, you have not inadvertently said something that could damage your claim. Such experts can help you earn compensation for injuries such as whiplash, too. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to get out of settling a claim.
3. Seek medical treatment
If you or your passengers have sustained injuries, it is important that you seek medical help. A bump to the head, whiplash and bruising need to be investigated to ensure that there have been no internal injuries that are not immediately obvious. Document any symptoms and pain that you are experiencing; this will help to get you the medical attention that you need (and can be a highly useful tool in any claim that you make).
Car accidents can happen at any time, although research has shown that nearly half of accidents happen during the peak commuting hours. If you are travelling with children, it is important that you secure them in age-appropriate car seats and explain to them that they must behave in the car to avoid distracting you.
People tend to get complacent about their driving skills on the short journeys that they make regularly; they are familiar with the roads, potential hazards and traffic levels. However, you must apply the same care and attention to every journey, whether it’s a two-minute drive to the shops or a two hour drive on a motorway.