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What You Should Always Do In The Case Of An Accident

18th Apr, 2017

No matter how careful you are on the roads, sometimes accidents are unavoidable. And when that happens, it’s important to know the best ways in which to respond. At Scrap Car Network, this week we’re focused on helping you with just that. First though, we’ll sum up quickly.

Here’s what to do if you are involved in a car accident:

  1. Stop the car.
  2. Put your hazards on.
  3. Take keys out of the ignition.
  4. Check for injuries.
  5. Call the relevant emergency services.
  6. Set out visibility equipment.
  7. Swap insurance details.
  8. Take photos of the scene.
  9. Contact your insurance company.

So that’s the basics covered! Don’t go away yet though – let’s run you through them in more detail.

Before You Do Anything Else

bringing the vehicle to a stand-still

Whether it’s a fender bender or a major collision, the very first thing you should always do is concentrate on bringing the car to a safe stop. That means putting the hazards on, looking for a safe place, and bringing it in gently until you’re at a complete halt. And don’t forget – as best you can, stay calm. Sure, we know it’s definitely easier to say than to do, but try and focus on one thing at a time.

Once the car is motionless, take your keys out of the ignition. An overlooked car engine that’s still running can be a fire hazard if you’re not careful. If you need to, this would be the point to take a quick breather. Impacts from a car accident aren’t just physical, but psychological as well – a big emotional response is entirely natural, but you’ll want a clear head to deal with everything else first. Apart from anything else, it doesn’t help anyone for you and the other driver to be shouting/sobbing at each other with your scrap cars just lying in the middle of the road.

If there’s anyone else in the car, ask them if they’re OK, and check to see if there are any serious injuries. If there are, ring an ambulance. Keep an eye out even if everyone seems fine – not all injuries are obvious at first. Once that’s done, it’s time to get out.

Once You’re Out Of The Car

high visibility gear

You’ve got visibility equipment in the back of your car, so set it out promptly to avoid anyone else crashing into you. This is especially vital in low visibility conditions, like fog or rain or after dark. It might be a plan to get any able-bodied passengers or passers by to flag down approaching cars, ensuring they check their speed before they reach the accident.

Call the emergency services if you haven’t done so already, and while you’re waiting take the names and contact details of every witness, driver and passenger involved in the crash. Be alert for anyone trying to take off by leaving the scene, as it’s very much illegal. The police will want to talk with everyone involved to fill out an accident report. Then, you’ll need to collect the relevant information from the other drivers involved.

Here’s what information to take in a car accident:

  1. Full names and contact details (including phone numbers and addresses)
  2. Registration plate numbers
  3. Note of each vehicle’s colour, make and model
  4. Names of insurance companies
  5. Policy numbers
  6. Time and date of the crash
  7. Weather and road conditions
  8. List any damage to vehicles, as well as any major injuries (and who sustained them)

Then take photos or notes on the accident scene, like the direction of the cars, skid marks, and any debris. It’s a solid plan to have a record of this sort of stuff, especially if it’s of any legal use to you later on.

A final thing to remember – contact your insurance company and give them all the information you’re gathering at the accident. They’ll need to know it too!

But Definitely Don’t…

neck injury caused by car accidents

OK, so we’ve covered everything you need to do when an accident happens. But make sure you don’t:

  1. Leave the engine running
  2. Administer first aid without consent of the injured person
  3. Move or attempt to treat severe injuries without professional help
  4. Leave the accident scene
  5. Make any admission of fault (that’s an important one)
  6. Panic

We know that last one seems obvious – and that we’ve mentioned it above – but it really does bear saying twice. We’re hardwired to respond emotionally in high-stress situations, but that can be counterproductive when we’ve got a to-do list we need to complete to keep everyone safe.

At Scrap Car Network, we sincerely wish you’ll never have to deal with this sort of thing. But it’s always worth knowing, just in case! There is one thing we can help with – if your car is written off, there’s no better place to scrap your car than with us. Not only do we use environmentally-friendly methods, but our partnership with Recycling Lives means that by choosing us, you’re actively improving someone’s life. Not bad, all in all!

Click here for other reasons to choose us, or alternatively you can get straight to our homepage and enter in your car reg and postcode to start scrapping your car today!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @ScrapCarNetwork

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