What to do After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be a very stressful situation. The most important thing as always ensuring that yourself and everyone around you is safe, after checking this, there are a number of steps to follow to ensure that you are covered in the future. We break down the best steps to take in order to stay safe and legal in this situation.
Immediately after the accident
- Stop the car as soon as possible – it’s an offence not to do so under Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
- Switch off your engine and turn on your hazard warning lights to alert other vehicles of your situation.
- Check for any injuries to yourself or passengers and the other driver.
- Call 999 if there are any injuries or the road is blocked at all.
- If possible, remove all passengers and pets from the car and move to a safe place while you wait for the emergency services.
- Try not to apologise or accept responsibility for the accident until you’ve taken the time to calm down and process what has happened. Apologising can affect your liability at a later date if you believe you were not at fault.
What details to take after the accident?
Exchanging details with the other driver is essential after your accident. You must share your name and address with everyone involved in the accident and get the same information from them. You should also make sure that you:
- Make a note of the other cars registration number.
- Take the details from any witnesses who may be able to verify your version of events at a later date.
- Exchange insurance details and policy numbers with any other drivers.
- Ask if the driver is the registered owner of the vehicle, it could be a borrowed or company car so if this is the case it is best to find out who owns the vehicle and get their details too.
- If you suspect that the other driver could be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it’s best to let the police know by giving them a call on 101, the non-emergency police number.
- Take notes & photos of the event if it’s safe to do so. It is easy to forget the details of the accident in the days after it has happened. Taking notes of the exact date, time weather conditions, whether anyone was injured and details around the accident can help you to remember in the future.
Making a claim
It is best to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible, regardless of whether you’re making a claim. Failure to do so within the set time period on your policy may invalidate your cover depending on your insurance company. It is best to inform them of any accident even if you are not going to make a claim, in case the other driver decides to make a claim without you knowing. Your insurance provider will probably ask for the following so it’s good to have these details to hand when you call:
- Your policy number and policy information.
- The registration numbers of the other vehicles involved.
- The other driver’s name, personal details and insurance details.
Hopefully, you’ll never get in an accident yourself or have to use this information yourself, however, keeping a checklist like this somewhere handy can help you to remain calm and go through all of the necessary steps to make sure you stay safe, legal and covered when contacting your insurer.
All Dayinsure policies are underwritten by Aviva, the UK’s largest insurance company so you can be sure that if you ever do need to make a claim, we will be there to help.