What to do if you’ve been in an accident

It isn’t something any of us ever want to think about, but the reality is that there is always a risk of being in an accident even if we are not at fault, so it pays to know what to do. The most important thing to keep in mind is that not stopping if you have had an accident is a serious offence so you should always stop even it is a minor fender-bender. Leaving the scene can lead to a large fine, disqualification from driving, or even time in prison.

What you should do if you are in an accident:

We have put together a list of the key steps you must take should you find yourself involved in an accident.

  1. Stop and check that no one is injured. If you can still drive your car then pull over to a safe place, stop, and put your hazard lights on. Unless anyone is injured, everyone should exit the vehicle, including any pets, and move to a safe place. If you are on the motorway, pull on to the hard shoulder if possible. In this instance pets should remain in the vehicle unless you are able to control them on the side of the road.
  2. Call emergency services if there anyone is injured.
  3. Exchange key details with the other drivers involved. This includes your vehicle’s registration number and your contact details. If you are not the owner of the vehicle, then you must pass on the owner’s details as well.
  4. Insurance details. If there are any injuries you must also produce your certificate of insurance. If you don’t have the insurance details with you or if for any reason you do not exchange details with the other driver(s) then you must report the incident to the police within 24 hours. You must do this in person. While it is not a legal requirement to exchange insurance details where there have been no injuries it could help speed things up with your insurance claim if you do. You may also have injuries that you are not aware of at the time, so it is prudent to do so while you are at the scene.
  5. Take notes of the circumstances of the accident: the time, date, weather conditions, and any witnesses who may have been present. It is also worth taking a few photos on your phone.
  6. Don’t admit liability. It is up to the insurers to determine who was at fault, so stick to checking that everyone is alright and to exchanging details.
  7. Talk to your insurer. Even if you do not intend to make a claim, you must talk to them to ensure that your insurance remains valid. If you have comprehensive insurance cover then any damage to your vehicle should be covered by them (depending on the terms of your policy), but if you are only covered by a third party or third party, fire and theft policy, then any damage to your vehicle will not be covered.

If you have had an accident and need vehicle repairs or a check for roadworthiness, talk to us at Double Dee Autos.  Just give us a call on 020 8460 3040 to make an appointment to bring your vehicle in.