8 Things You Should Know Before You Take Your Car For a Drive
Being in a car crash is a very unpleasant experience but unfortunately, they are not very uncommon. Not every crash that happens ends with totalled cars and everything on fire but the process of what you should do remains the same. If you are driving out on the open roads of Australia, this article will help you with a list of things that you should do if you are involved in a car crash.
Know Who To Call
The first thing that you should have done, well before you were in a car crash is to have the number of a good lawyer. Whether or not it was a big crash, having a good lawyer on your side will make the whole process so much easier. Luckily in Australia, many car accident lawyers specialize in road accident cases. Having the number of a decent lawyer who you know and trust is a crucial step in being prepared for any potential car accidents.
Turn The Car Off
In the heat of the moment, it can be easy to forget to do the simple things. As soon as you are able, make sure that you remove the car from the road, put your hazards on, and turn off the engine. After you have just been in an accident the last thing you would want to do is cause another accident by leaving your car on the road. By turning off the engine as well, you prevent any potential issues with the engine that may have sustained damage during the crash. Even if it appears minor, you will need to have your vehicle checked over by a licensed mechanic before you can drive it away. Remembering to do the simple things is an important step in what to do if you have a car accident.
Inform The Police
No matter how small an accident and no matter how much the other driver protests, you must report all traffic accidents to the Australian Police. Although it might seem silly at the time, without contacting the authorities you have no way of knowing anything about the other driver. It may be that they aren’t supposed to be driving due to having an expired license, they could be a wanted criminal or they could have been in many accidents before. Equally, there could have been more accidents in the same place which might mean that something about that bit of road needs to be changed to make it safer. Informing the police is essential in preventing more accidents happening and is a vital part of your civic duty.
Check For Injuries
There are a lot of things that you need to do almost immediately after a car accident. Realistically, before you’ve done any of the above, you should check yourself and any passengers for any injuries. It is important to take a moment to check in with your body as not all injuries are obvious at first. What’s more, you’ll probably be in quite a bit of shock which tends to numb your pain receptors temporarily. You need to ensure that you are in a fit state to move and will be able to get out of the car safely, without causing yourself more injury. Checking yourself and others for injuries is a very important step to take right after you are in a car crash.
Try To Stay Calm
Being in a car accident is a very stressful experience. Asides from any physical injuries, the shock, and fear that grip you can be hard to shake. Take stock and remember that you are okay. Be thankful that the crash was not any worse and hopefully you can be safe in the knowledge that you were not driving recklessly. You may be angry at the other driver, especially as it will probably seem like it was their fault. However, nothing will be achieved by going over and yelling at them. You should try to have as little communication with them as possible as you do not want to accidentally say anything that makes it sound as if you were at fault, even if you were not. Although it might be difficult it is really important to stay calm after a car accident.
Exchange Details With The Other Driver
The only communication you should have with the other driver is when you exchange details for insurance purposes. In an ideal world, this would be a simple and amicable process where both parties understand how this is going to work and just get on with it. However, it is quite likely that tempers will rise and there may especially be quite a bit of anger if one of the drivers knows they were at fault. It can be hard to think straight after a car crash but remember to keep it civil and only exchange your details with the driver, nothing else.
Take Photos Of Everything
Even in minor car crashes, you must document everything right after it happened. You will need to photograph all damage sustained to your car and the other driver’s car as well. This ensures that, if there is a legal case, you have the requisite evidence to show what damages were sustained. You should also encourage the driver to take photos as well so that there is no disparity between either side’s evidence. Taking photos of everything is an essential step to take after a car crash.
Car Crashes Happen
The sad truth is that car crashes happen and they happen a lot. Especially in Australia, where people often have to drive for hours on long country roads. You could be the most cautious driver in the world and that still would not necessarily be enough to prevent you from being in an accident. This is not a reason to be fearful of the roads as most accidents are minor at worst. However, it does mean that you should be prepared and understand what needs to happen if you are in a car crash. Using this article should help you compile a list of everything you need to do if you are involved in a car crash.