Driving safely gives you the best chance of preventing an accident – but what do you do in a collision that’s not your fault? Accidents do happen, so it’s worth keeping these tips to hand so that you have everything you need, just in case.
If you’re in an accident, first things first you should stop your vehicle. Switch the engine off and get your hazard lights on.
Look around and check no one’s hurt and make sure you and others involved move to a place of safety – avoid standing by your car on the hard shoulder of a motorway or out in the carriageway. If it looks like someone has been injured, you need to phone 999 for the emergency services. As obvious as this may seem, it’s an important reminder!
It’s really important that you call the police if you think the other driver might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or was driving dangerously – especially if they’ve left the scene without giving you their details.
9 times out of 10 us Brits are painfully polite and pride ourselves on our manners. But apologising before you know all of the details of a crash can cause issues further down the line.
Rather than saying sorry – ask for some details from the other party. And offer yours too.
- Get the name, address and insurance details of the other driver, and give them yours too – it’s the law
- Try to work out if they’re the registered driver of the vehicle
- Take some snaps of the scene, including any damage to the vehicles, the positions they’re in on the road and their number plates. This is important when making a claim
- Note down the time and date of the accident, what the driving conditions were like and the names/contact details of anyone who witnessed what happened
Once you’ve got all the details you need and you’ve made sure everyone’s alright, this is when you should get in touch with your insurer. Even if you’re not planning on making a claim, it’s a good idea to let them know in case the other driver claims without you knowing. If you don’t let your insurer know in the time specified by your policy this may invalidate your insurance. Additionally, reporting an accident to us can help avoid you becoming the victim of a fraudulent claim.
Accidents do happen, so it’s worth keeping these tips to hand so that you have everything you need should the worst happen.