Car Insurance Basics

How To Keep Calm After An Accident

November 12, 2014

Did you know that keeping calm after a road accident could be very good for your motor insurance cover? Consider this situation. You are driving down a busy street minding your steering wheel and your pedals. As you approach the intersection, you slow down instinctively as you prepare to exit the current street. Suddenly, out of the blue, you hear a bang. There may be some shuttering noises and then your car starts producing rattling sounds. What happens next will depend on your personality, your role in the accident that has just happened, and your capacity to handle pressure. In addition, you need your wits about you to handle this situation well. Here are 7 tips to help you to keep calm after a road accident

1. Dont rush to get out of your car

It is instinctive to rush out of your car to go and assess the damage. You must tame this instinct for various reasons. First, your car needs to be immobilised before you leave the controls. Otherwise, you may worsen the situation and increase your repair bill, something you auto insurance provider will not like. Secondly, you should be wary of gangsters who cause minor accidents in order to rob other motorists. The only exception to this rule is if there is another immediate danger such as an open fire or smoke coming from any of the cars involved in the accident.

2. Check if you are alright

You will be surprised how many drivers fail to check whether they have sustained injuries before engaging in a shouting contest with the other driver. Check for signs of blood, and for any pain that may indicate a fracture or soft tissue damage. If you have knocked your head, beware of a concussion. Any signs of dizziness mean that you need to get quick medical attention. While you need to get the facts of the situation, it is a favour your motor insurance can do without if your health is at stake.

3. Confirm that all your passengers are alright

If you have passengers in your car, confirm whether they are all right. Someone on your car may be injured and needs urgent help. Dents and broken headlamps do not need urgent attention, at least not as much as an injured passenger.

4. Put your hazard lights on

Before stepping out of your car, shut the engine, apply the handbrake and put on your hazard lights. This minimizes the chances of the car causing further damage. At the same time, it helps other road users to make driving decisions that will make the scene safe for you to handle the resulting issues.

5. Make contact with the other driver

When you have confirmed your safety, that of the other passengers, and have made your car safe for other road users, make contact with the other driver. Realise that the other driver is also tense, and how you make contact will determine whether you end up with a shouting contest or an amicable solution. Whether you feel you are not to blame, do not spook the other driver. First, show concern for the driver and the safety of his passengers before talking about the car. If he needs urgent help, you are best placed to facilitate it. If you are the culprit, your third party cover from your motor insurance provider is meant for the benefit of other road users.

6. Place the Lifesaver on the Road

If the accident is serious and it is clear that the cars will be on the scene for a while, then place lifesavers on the road to warn oncoming drivers of the accident. Failure to warn oncoming drivers can lead to a compound accident. This will complicate how your motor insurance company handles the situation.

7. Deal with the Situation

If you and the other driver can agree on an amicable solution, clear the scene as soon as you can. Otherwise, follow the steps provided here on what to do after a road accident. The 7 steps can help you to keep the accident scene safe and civil, without the need to engage in a shouting contest with the other drivers. Do not respond angrily or violently to an irate driver, and if the other driver becomes violent, insist on having a police officer on site before engaging further. 

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