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Great Britain

Eight Step Checklist: What to do if you crash your car

Motoring specialists have revealed an eight step checklist for what Brits should do if they’re involved in a collision while behind the wheel.

Whether the road traffic incident is the driver’s fault, another road user's responsibility or a complete accident, drivers are urged to follow every stage of the guidance – even if they appear unhurt or their vehicle seems undamaged, according to LeaseCar.uk. 

Tim Alcock, of LeaseCar.uk, said: “It’s completely understandable that many drivers instinctive reaction when they’re involved in a crash is one of shock, so we’ve put together an eight step checklist for motorists who have a collision to follow – regardless of where the blame may lie.

1. Stop

The first thing drivers must do if they’re involved in a collision on the road, no matter the circumstances, is stop. Remember to turn your engine off and put the hazard warning lights on.

2. Check for injuries

Once you’ve come to a halt, check for any injuries to yourself, passengers or other parties involved in the incident - provide first aid if you can, if necessary.

3. Ensure safety

Whenever possible, exit the vehicle and move to a safer location if available. Move the vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic if possible.

4. Call the emergency services

The emergency services should be called immediately on 999 immediately if a road is wholly or partially blocked, or if someone is trapped or hurt.

If another driver leaves scene, may be uninsured, drunk or on drugs, or deliberately crashed such as in a ‘crash for cash’ scam, call 999 straight away too. Otherwise, inform the police via 101 as soon as possible if it’s not an emergency.

5. Stay calm

It’s important to try to maintain your composure if you’re involved in a crash while behind the wheel – don’t panic and immediately apologise or admit responsibility until the full facts are established, to protect yourself from liability if it’s not your fault.

6. Exchange details

Drivers should exchange relevant details with all parties involved, especially if someone is injured or a vehicle is damaged.

This should include insurance information, name and address, contact details, the registered vehicle owner if it’s not the driver.

Remember to get contact information for any passengers and witnesses too, as well as noting down the company if a lorry or commercial vehicle is involved.

If you clip a parked vehicle or damage private property without the owner present, leave your details somewhere appropriately visible.

7. Gather evidence

If you have a suitable phone and aren’t hurt, take a comprehensive selection of pictures of the scene and vehicles involved.

Note down details including make, model, colour and number plates, as well as the time and date, the weather and road conditions, including lighting, markings, the state of the surface, and signage.

Describe precisely any damage or injuries reported and try to establish the facts by speaking to other parties and witnesses.

8. Phone your insurance company

Even if you think a claim from yourself is unlikely, motorists involved in a collision on the roads should still phone their insurance company as soon as possible to report what’s happened – ideally while they’re still at the scene, if possible – in case someone else later decides to make a claim against you.

Try to have details like your insurance policy number, identification such as your driving licence, and information about the crash to hand – especially if you’re considering a claim yourself.

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