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What to do in an accident...

No one ever expects to be in a car accident, but there is always a chance that it could happen to you.

MTA has provided some tips that can help you to prepare for an accident, and what you should do if you find yourself involved in one.

Prepare

Firstly, have a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and a safety triangle handy. These will be helpful items if you are involved in an accident or witness one. Read more about these here.

A car accident can ruin your day – people may be injured, and serious damage to your vehicle and that of others, can occur in seconds. You may also have to deal with liability issues – which can carry huge costs. Ensure your vehicle is insured. If you do have an accident, you should be covered for any damages that may be caused.

Stay calm

If you are involved in an accident, try to stay calm. Panic can cause others to become hysterical or alarmed, which will make the situation worse. Take a deep breath and think about what you need to do.

Check for injuries

Check for any injuries to you and the people in your vehicle. If everyone is OK and you are able to, check that the occupants of the other vehicle are uninjured. There may be some basic first aid treatment that you can attend to – otherwise, if the injuries are more serious, you will need to call 111

Make yourself safe

If it is safe to do so, switch on your hazard lights and get out of your vehicle. Otherwise, move your vehicle to a safe spot that is not blocking traffic. If you can’t get out of your car, or it is not safe to, stay seatbelted in, call 111 and wait for help to arrive.

Identify witnesses

See if there are any witnesses to the crash. If anyone else saw what happened, ask them to stay on the scene so that they can provide statements about their view of the accident.

Look for details

Look for the other driver’s licence plate number and make and model of vehicle that they are driving. Exchange personal information, such as name, address, phone numbers, insurance company and policy number, with all drivers involved in the incident. If the driver doesn’t own the vehicle, be sure to get the owner’s details as well. This information will be very helpful for insurance purposes after the initial shock of the accident.

If the other driver is aggressive and uncooperative, record any information you can about the vehicle (eg number plate, make and model) and report the incident to police.

Take notes

If the accident is a minor one, note down anything you remember. Describe what happened with notes and images of how the accident occurred. You could even take pictures of the scene including any damage to vehicles, the roads, traffic signs and the direction the cars were travelling in. This information will help authorities to decide who was at fault.

Talk to your insurance provider

If you need to, file a claim with your insurance company. If the accident was minor and your car does not need extensive repairs, it may cost less to pay for the repairs, rather than take out an insurance claim. You should still notify the insurance company of the incident, regardless of the damage caused.

If you witness an accident

If you are a witness to an accident, stop and give assistance. If you find that someone is injured, call 111 and ask for help.