Driving is a risky activity and needs lots of attention from drivers. Unfortunate accidents can happen anytime even when you are not at fault. An unexpected accident can leave you feeling a bit scared and disoriented.
After meeting an accident, here are 7-steps that you should take in order to make sure everyone is safe, to follow the law and to get the insurance claim process started.
1. Check for injuries
Many people die in road accidents due to lack of medical care during golden hour (one hour from the time of accident). Timely action after an accident may save lives. Check yourself and other passengers in your vehicle for injuries. In case of anyone injured, call emergency services for help. If required, ask other people to call for help.
2. Get to safety
If your vehicle can be driven safely then pull to the side of the road, this will clear the road for traffic. If a vehicle can not be driven then leave it where it is. If possible get out of the vehicle carefully and move away from the traffic.
3. Check on others involved in accident
Check for the well being of other people involved in the accident. If required and are able to then arrange medical help for them.
4. Call police
Even for minor accidents, a police "accident information report" will be helpful when dealing with your insurance company and other drivers. You should cooperate with police while at the accident scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the crash.
If police can't come to the accident scene then go to the nearest police station and file the report. Get a copy of the police report.
5. Gather information
Gather as much information as possible about people and vehicles involved in the accident, including:
- Full name and contact information of drivers.
- Insurance company and policy number.
- Type, colour and model of all vehicles involved.
- Registration number of the vehicles.
- Date, time and location of accident.
6. Document the scene
If you have a camera or smartphone then take pictures of the accident scene including damages occurred to all vehicles. These will be helpful while filing insurance claims.
7. File insurance claim
Call your insurance company and arrange for vehicle repair. Submit necessary documents like police "accident information report", information about others involved in the accident. Cooperate with insurance providers to investigate the accident to provide damage to other parties.
What can you do before an accident?
If you haven't been in an accident so far, congratulate yourself for being a good driver and being lucky as well. Here are a few helpful tips that will prepare you for the unfortunate time.
- Have a first aid kit in your vehicle.
- Keep important documents (DL, RC, insurance etc.) and information (contact numbers of emergency services, blood group etc.) with you while driving.
- Have a fully charged phone before going out.
- Keep loose items in the center console or glove box, and not on the seats.
Every few years take a Defensive Driving Course to raise your awareness about driving conditions. It will help you to be a responsible and safe driver.
Stay safe and be happy!!!