So you've smashed up. What now?
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
Accidents are an unavoidable part of life; and about as convenient as a a hole in the head. With that in mind, let me step you through my accident checklist and see if I can save you a headache.
Depending on your region, the reason for your accident may be entirely controlled by your area. For example if you live in a city, you're 4.4 times more likely to be involved in a nose-tail collision verses the country. Whereas country mice have a 2.6 times chance of being involved in an off path or out of control accident. My guide is based around accidents involving two or more vehicles, but it goes without saying you can use the basic steps to guide you through any accident - just don't except Skippy to be too forth coming with his details.
First and most importantly, is everyone involved ok? This may seem like an obvious one, but trust me after an accident your mind is not you're own! Try to keep calm and check yourself and any passengers travelling with you. Make sure your vehicle is switched off and hazard lights switched on.
Next, assess the road and traffic situation. Is your vehicle blocking the road or have the potential to cause a hazard? If it is safe to do so, move your vehicle to ensure you're not blocking any other traffic or the road. If it is not safe to move cars, call a tow truck. They are trained and fully equipped with experience and specialised tools to move all vehicles and get everything flowing again.
If there is another driver or vehicle involved then head over to the other vehicle. It's important to note that you shouldn't admit fault - even saying a simple sorry can be taken as an admission of guilt so choose your words carefully. If it is wildlife that you've collided with - please use caution and common sense before approaching. If anyone is showing signs of injury or cause for concern, call an ambulance and the police immediately.
Take as many pictures of the vehicles (as long it is safe to do so), before moving them including road signs and where the vehicles are situated in relation to any signage. This can help in a multitude of ways if it comes to getting insurance companies involved. Any images you can provide will help the insurance companies determine who is at fault and that means who will be paying the excess.
Exchange as many contact details with the other parties as possible, including insurance company, licence, phones numbers and registration. If there are witnesses, it won't hurt to ask for a phone number to pass along to your insurance. The more details you have of the accident the better.
Lastly, report the indecent to your insurance company. I can't recommend this step more! I get a lot of clients come in for a quote telling me how apologetic the other driver was and how they will pay for all the repairs. I've seen this situation many, many times, and it always goes one of two ways. The first being, they do come through with the goods, great! You don't need to act any further and your insurance company will simply archive the note on your file, yay! The second (and most common) outcome is that now that the accident is done they may not have the money or may not still think they're entirely at fault. Haven spoken to your insurance company and gained all those details, you can get your vehicle repaired and let your insurance company take care of all the stress of having to chase someone up for money.
I hope some or all of these points help you navigate your way around an accident - let me know if there is something else you'd like help or a bit more background knowledge on! Don't forget to download our handy booklet to keep in your glove box.