It’s something that we all anticipate with apprehension. Would you know what to do if someone pranged into you or if you lost control of your vehicle on a slippery surface? There are certain procedures to be followed that can help you if you have been involved in a traffic accident.
No matter how serious the accident may or may not be, you are legally required to stop your vehicle. Leaving the scene of the accident, on foot or in another vehicle, is considered a criminal offence. There is an exception if you believe your life or the life of your passengers to be in danger.
Prevent further accidents
It is not uncommon for an accident to start a chain reaction of collisions, especially on busy roads. Switch on your hazard lights so that other cars can see that your vehicle is inoperative. Should the accident have occurred on a blind corner or over the apex of a hill, ask another vehicle to park in a visible position with their hazards on to get oncoming traffic to slow down. If you have a warning triangle, put it out to provide further caution.
In certain situations you may consider moving vehicles from the road, but only for safety reasons. Remember that in serious cases you cannot tamper with evidence. If you have to move a vehicle to rescue someone that is trapped or to assist with congested traffic, clearly mark the position with chalk, clothing or whatever available placemarks you can find.
Also, keep an eye out for dangerous elements such as broken glass or leaking petrol. Disconnect car batteries if you think that a spark could cause a fire.
Help those that are injured or in shock
If you don’t know first aid then don’t attempt anything that could make an injury worse. It will, however, help to talk to people that are injured and keep them calm and conscious until professional assistance arrives.
Phone for assistance
Ensure that you have the correct emergency numbers saved on your phone, if you have them on speed dial then you could save critical seconds. Be specific about the information that you give to rescue services, tell them your name, your telephone number, the exact location of the accident and a brief assessment of injuries and possible dangers.
We hope that these steps help you to stay safe on the road and potentially help other people that you see in this unfortunate situation. Check back for part two, which will go over procedures that make claiming from insurance a smoother experience.