In the unfortunate event of a car crash, people often go into shock and may panic. Driving is one of the most dangerous daily activities so it’s best to be prepared, whether it is your fault, someone else’s fault or external factors such as the state of the road.
Here are some simple car crash tips if you find yourself in a big smash or minor prang:
Stop your vehicle.
If it’s a very small prang, move your vehicle out of the way of traffic, park in a safe place.
If you cannot drive/move the vehicle, turn the engine off and put your hazard lights on to alert other drivers.
Is the vehicle crash life threatening? Are any drivers/passengers trapped or seriously injured? Call 000 or have someone else call 000.
Don’t move anyone who has been injured unless they are in immediate danger (ie vehicle is on fire).
If someone has to be moved, be careful to fully support their back and neck.
If anyone is injured or killed. Call 000 straight away.
If the other driver fails to stop, make note of their vehicle and license plate and call police or 000.
If other members of the car accident appear to be intoxicated or there is damage to public property (stobie poles, traffic lights, curbing etc), call police.
Turn on your hazard lights, attract attention and call for help if you’re able.
Emergency services may be required to help you from your vehicle. Try and remain calm.
Check on the other vehicles/people involved. Health and safety comes first!
Immediately after a car crash you may experience all sort of emotions (fear, anger, guilt, nervousness, shock) and/or pain.
It’s important to try and stay calm. Take a few deep breaths and count to 10.
Try to avoid arguing or being confrontational with other drivers. They will also be experiencing a range of emotions.
Ask to see the driver’s license of all other drivers and ask for their:
- Phone number
- Insurance Company
- License plate no.
- Car make/model
If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, also request the owner’s contact details.
HANDY TIP: take a photo of their drivers license with your mobile phone. The reverse will show their current address.
HANDY TIP: keep a list of these required details in your glove box or centre console so in the event of a car smash, you don’t forget.
It is wise to get contact details of any available witnesses at the scene as it may help with your insurance claim.
It is very hard to track people down otherwise if a claim is questioned.
If police attend the scene of the car crash, ask for the name(s) of the police officer(s), which police station they’re from and a contact number.
Take notes on paper or your phone, describing all details. Take photos of all vehicles in the accident, especially the areas impacted by the car crash.
It may also help to take photos of surrounding street signs, traffic lights and other damage.
A quick diagram of the sequence of events, including the directions cars were travelling, weather conditions and the date/time are also advisable.
Even if you think the accident is your fault, it’s not wise to declare it at the scene. You may be in shock and it’s best to leave the decision to insurance assessors.
Is it safe to continue driving? If so, have a plan of action in case you break-down before reaching your destination. Err on the side of caution.
Remember there could be internal damage to your car that isn’t obvious externally. Check all areas involved in the smash for leaking fluids (coolant, oil, petrol), smoke, noises and damage.
If your car needs to be towed, take all of your personal belongings out of your vehicle.
It is your choice who tows your vehicle and where it is towed.
Call Gawler Bodyworks: 08 8522 3422 for 24/7 Accident Towing and Assistance.
We can arrange and/or recommend towing services and have your vehicle towed directly to Gawler Bodyworks for repairs and vehicles checks.
We recommend saving our phone numbers into your phone under “Car – Gawler Bodyworks” so in the event of a car crash requiring towing or smash repairs, you have our number with you.
Call your insurance company as soon as possible to make a claim.
Many companies take claims over the phone so ensure you have your details handy.
You may feel fine after the crash but it is often best to have a check-up with a doctor or health professional.
If you experience any pain or headaches, see a health professional as soon as possible. Whiplash and other injuries may go unnoticed while you’re in shock and appear in the hours or days after the accident. Always seek medical attention if in doubt.