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What to do in case of an accident

Discussion in 'Safety First!' started by Surya, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Surya

    Surya Superiore

    Namma Bengaluru
    Driving is probably the most dangerous thing most of us will do on a daily basis or most often. Although you do your best to drive responsibly and defensively, it's still smart to know what to do just in case you end up in a collision. Crashes can be very scary, but here are some tips if one happens to you..

    Unfortunately each year thousands of people are involved in traffic accidents. In spite of relentless efforts to increase road safety and awareness about preventive measures, the human and economic burden because of car accidents increase steadily.However very few people know precisely what to do in the aftermath of a collision. This knowledge is very important. It can help prevent further injuries, minimize costs, facilitate further actions relevant to insurance matters and repairs.Whether it is simply a bump in the parking lot or if it is a more serious accident where people are injured, taking the right actions immediately can save lives and improve the outcome for everyone involved.

    Additionally it may be that by not following the right procedure, your insurance company could face difficulties to pay your claims. You should be as well aware that if you do not follow the proper procedures you may end up having problems with the law and have consequences and fines to pay.

    You should be able to follow the right steps so that when you file police reports and when you file for insurance compensation no unwanted omissions or obstacles appear.

    step 1: stay calm and concentrated
    The first important thing if you are involved in car accident is to try to stay calm and concentrated. Take some deep breaths to get calm. After a crash, a person may feel a wide range of emotions — shock, guilt, fear, nervousness, or anger — all of which are normal. But take a few deep breaths or count to 10 to calm down. The calmer you are, the better prepared you will be to handle the situation. This is the time to take stock of the accident and try to make a judgment about whether it was a serious one.

    Keep yourself and others safe. If you can't get out of your car — or it's not safe to try — keep your seat belt fastened, turn on your hazard lights, then call for help if possible and wait for help to arrive. If the collision seems to be minor, turn off your car and grab your emergency kit. If it's safe to get out and move around your car, set up orange cones, warning triangles, or emergency flares around the crash site. If there are no injuries and your vehicle is drivable, make a reasonable effort to move the vehicle to a safe spot that is not blocking traffic (like the shoulder of a highway or a parking lot).

    Step 2; Check for Injuries and Report the Incident
    Check on everyone involved in the crash to see if they have any injuries. This includes making sure you don't have any serious injuries first hand. Be extremely cautious not all injuries can be seen. If you or anyone involved isn't feeling 100% (start feeling dizzy or out of it), call emergency numbers in your state and request emergency assistance on roadways. Be ready to give the dispatcher the following information:

    Who? The dispatcher will ask for your name and phone numbers in case the authorities need to get more information from you later.
    What? Tell the dispatcher as much as you can about the emergency — for instance, whether there is a fire, traffic hazard, medical emergency, etc.
    Where? Let the dispatcher know exactly where the emergency is taking place. Give the city, road name, road number, mile markings, direction of travel, traffic signs, and anything
    else you can think of to help them know how to find you.

    step 3: Make sure you stay on the line until the dispatcher says it's OK to hang up.
    Sometimes, you can get the police to come to the crash scene even if there are no injuries, especially if you tell them you need someone to mediate in other words, to help you figure out what happened and who's at fault. But in certain areas, as long as both vehicles can be safely driven away, police officers won't come to the scene unless someone is hurt or injured. You or somebody else should call the police if there is an accident involving injury or substantial damage to property. Stay at the scene of the accident until the police tells you to leave. If you are not sure about the damage caused and in case of any doubt prefer to call the police. Leaving the scene of an accident can be illegal so you better take a careful approach before you act. When informing the police about the accident you should tell them about injured people and if possible the number of them. This will allow them while coming to the scene of accident, to mobilize enough emergency personnel to provide all aid necessary.Try to avoid discussing what happened with anyone else except the police. Limit yourself in only describing facts. Do not make accusations and do not say that it was your fault. Even if you think that you are at fault do not admit liability. It is possible that there are unknown factors to you that played a role. This could make the situation different that what you initially perceive. Comments that you may make could be counterproductive or even used against you later.

    step 4: Take Down Driver Information
    Ask to see the driver's license of the other drivers involved in the crash so that you can take down their license numbers. Also get their name, address, phone number, insurance company, insurance policy number, and license plate number. If the other driver doesn't own the vehicle involved, be sure to get the owner's info as well.

    step 5: Take Notes on the Crash
    If the crash is minor and you feel that you can describe it, try to put the details in writing. Detailed notes and photos of the scene may help the court and insurance agencies decide who is responsible. Get a good description of the vehicles involved — year, make, model, and color. Take photos of the scene including the vehicles and any damage, the roads, any traffic signs, and the direction each vehicle was coming from. Try to draw a diagram or pictorial representation of the exact crash site and mark where each car was, what direction the car was coming from, and what lane it was in. Write down the date, time, and weather conditions. If there were any witnesses, try to get their names and contact info so that they can help clear up matters if one of the other drivers isn't completely honest about what really happened.

    step 5: The Aftermath
    While the crash itself might be upsetting, dealing with the aftermath can be too. In the hours or days following a collision, some people may still be shaken up. They may be beating themselves up over what happened especially if they feel the crash was avoidable. Sometimes, people close to those who were involved (like families and best friends) can experience some emotional problems too. These feelings are all normal. As time passes, the car is repaired, and the insurance companies are dealt with, most car crashes become mere afterthoughts.

    In some cases, though, these feelings can get stronger or last for longer periods of time, keeping a person from living a normal life. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after a devastating event that injured or threatened to injure someone. Signs of PTSD may show up immediately following the crash, or weeks or even months after.

    Not everyone who experiences stress after a trauma has PTSD. But here are some symptoms to look out for:
    avoiding emotions or any reminders of the incident
    constant feelings of anxiousness, crankiness, or anger
    avoiding medical tests or procedures
    constantly reliving the incident in one's mind
    nightmares or trouble sleeping

    If you notice any of these symptoms after you've been in a car crash, try talking through the experience with friends or relatives you trust. Discuss what happened, and what you thought, felt, and did during the collision and in the days after. Try to get back into your everyday activities, even if they make you uneasy. If these things don't help, ask your parent or guardian to help you check in with your doctor.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
    9 people like this.
  2. rishike007

    rishike007 Esperto

    Pune- Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.2
    It's a really good article Surya.
    Really worth reading.

    One more thing I would like to add in this is "Keeppresence of mind with all above points...."

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