Stop! Check! Call!
What to do if youíre involved in a vehicle collision
Unfortunately, however careful you may be as a driver, accidents do happen. You may or may not think itís your fault, but whatever the circumstances, itís really important to do the right thing.
Stop, stay calm and pull over
Whether itís a minor bump or something more serious, in the moments after the collision, youíre going to feel stunned, shocked and possibly a little disorientated. Itís not uncommon to be tearful, breathless or feel a sense of intense panic or even anger. However, itís important that you stop and remain calm, and take a few moments to catch your breath and digest what has happened. You must not just drive away.
When youíre ready, and if at all possible, move your vehicle off the road and into a safe place Ė whether thatís onto the verge, or just up the road slightly and away from a bend or junction. Make the scene as safe as possible by erecting a warning triangle, putting on your hazard lights or by asking someone to flag traffic down.
Check to see whether you, your passengers or anyone else involved is hurt and to what extent. If there are injuries, you should call the emergency services.
Personal safety is extremely important at this stage and if you really cannot move your vehicle, then you should move away from the vehicle and out of harmís away. The hard shoulder of a motorway is an extremely dangerous place, so ensure everybody moves away and up any embankment until the emergency services have secured the area.
Should you call the police?
There are certain circumstances when you should call the police, including if the other party leaves the scene or appears intoxicated, or if you suspect a crime has been committed (i.e. if you think the other driver may not be insured, etc.). You may also need to call the police if the road is obstructed or the collision has created a danger to other road users. If there are no injuries, and the collision is minor, you donít have to call the police.
Take photographs and notes
Provided it is safe to do so, you need to inspect all vehicles involved to see what level of damage there is. Take your time over this because it may not be immediately obvious. Look particularly carefully at the bumper area and paint work. Take photographs of any damage, but also, take photos if there is no damage and if you can, get a photo of the other driver with their vehicle. Using your phone camera is fine for this.
Itís also a good idea to take photos of the scene. Are there skid marks on the road? Is a leafy tree obstructing an important sign, or is there a massive pothole?
If you can, try to also take a few notes. Think about the weather, visibility, amount of other traffic and general driving conditions. Take a note of the names and addresses of any witnesses or passengers in the other vehicle and make a note of the make, model, colour and general state of repair of the other vehicle.
Avoid saying too much
It can be really easy to say to the other driver that everything is fine. But your vehicle may have sustained damage that isn't immediately obvious, or you may have an injury (such as whiplash) that isnít visible or apparent. You may also be tempted to apologise and say it was all your fault. Donít. The chances are you do not know the full circumstances yet and events might not be as straight forward as they seem.
If youíre sure the accident was your fault, call us and authorise us to talk to your insurer on your behalf. We can then arrange the initial repair authorisation and take away the stress involved in this.
You will need to exchange certain information with the other driver. This includes: their name, phone number, vehicle registration, insurance details (if you can) and driving license details or ID. Itís a good idea to take a photo of their driving license. And an excellent tip is to ask them to call you from their phone to yours so that you have their number. Then you know their phone number is bona fide.
Removing your vehicle
Once you have all the information you need, and have provided the other driver with the same, you can remove your vehicle. If itís safe to drive, you can drive it home or to a garage. But do check very carefully first. When you get home, call CrashAssessorsUK. If you canít remove your vehicle, call us and we will arrange for a recovery vehicle to attend free of charge.
How do we help?
Thereís lots we can do to ensure you get your vehicle back as quickly as possible and with as little hassle as possible. For a start, we will advise you in respect of your no claims bonus and premiums (it isn't always best to make a claim). We can deal with your vehicle repairs, providing a fully costed estimate (forwarded to all relevant parties) and making recommendations of where you can get it repaired. We can also arrange for your vehicle to be collected and stored at the repairerís workshop.
If the collision was not your fault, weíll arrange an alternative like for like vehicle. And throughout the entire process, weíll keep you informed and do any of the necessary chasing. When you get your vehicle back, all repairs will come with a 5-year warranty.
Stop! Check! Call!
Itís easy to get flustered or stressed if youíre involved in accident. But if it happens to you, always try and remember the following:
Stop: stop your vehicle and catch your breath.
Check: for injuries, damage, and the other parties' details.
Call: the police if necessary and CrashAssessorsUK to remove your vehicle, help manage your claim and sort out your repairs!