Most traffic accidents could be prevented if everybody remained alert and followed the traffic rules. So, the first thing we will suggest you is to be an attentive and responsible driver. But if you got caught in a situation where you hit some other vehicle or a person you might get nervous and disturbed. In such situations, many people go blank and don’t know what to do while there are many who takes the wrong decision.
We don’t want you to fall in any of the two categories so we have created this write-up to let you know what you are supposed to do in such situations.
Don’t get nervous; stay cool – As discussed earlier whenever we meet an accident we get nervous especially if it’s us who was driving the bigger vehicle. Keep in mind that getting nervous or losing your temper or going to any emotional extreme will only worsen the situation. This is the time when you need to stay cool and composed.
Check the extent of damage caused to the humans first – You might be tempted to get down of your car and check for the damages in your car. But your primary responsibility is towards the people involved. This is not only an ethical but a legal duty too. Check the extent of injury caused to the humans, and call the ambulance if anyone is seriously injured. If the injuries are minor you should provide the victims with first-aid. And, this gives you an additional responsibility – you should always have a first-aid kit in your car.
Ensure that no further smash-ups happen on the site – If the vehicles are not taken aside after the accident they may cause furthermore smash-ups. So, if the vehicles can be moved then move them off to the side of the road and if the vehicles are not in a position to be moved then turn-on the hazard lights and put the warning triangle (ideally should be in the vehicles’ emergency kit) to warn the other vehicles about the accident. If the vehicles are left at the mid-road then make sure all the people and pets have been moved to the side of the road.
Call the Police immediately – You’ll surely get one or the other person at an accident site that you should settle the matter with personal discussion rather than calling the police. But, the best thing to do is to ignore such suggestions and call the police immediately. If the accident is clearly your fault you might get arrested too but then also it’s your duty to inform the police about the accident. If you try to get away from the site or misguide the cops you may get in bigger troubles. By calling the police you make sure that your side of the story has been officially recorded and this can be helpful for you if the other party later decides to sue you for personal injury. In most of the cases police successfully settles the responsibilities between the parties and also helps you to move the vehicle to the garage. Further, you never know if you have been a victim of a staged accident where the other party has caused the accident willingly to collect the insurance money fraudulently. Police officers are trained to recognize a staged accident and can save you from being cheated.
Note Down every minor detail of the accident – Although you’ll like to forget such scary experience of an accident then and there you should note and remember every minute detail about the time. Ask the other driver for his name, contact details, address, driving license number etc. If the other driver is willing don’t hesitate in sharing your details too but be sure to share only the required details. As for example if the other person asks you for your social security number tell him firmly that it is not required for filing a report. Take many pictures of the site from different angles to make sure you are not missing any detail. Note down the time of the accident, a number of persons in both the vehicles and also the name and badge number of the police officer who visits the site after your call.
After doing all these things like a responsible citizen stay quiet and calm. Don’t be too generous in taking all the liabilities of the accident on yourself. Let the police and insurance company do their work. For knowing your legal option when you hit a bike from your car you can read this article.