We don't like to think about it, but accidents happen. So, regardless of the severity of the crash, let's make sure we're prepared! Here are three basic steps never to forget if you're involved in a car crash on UK roads.
1. Stop and call
You're driving peacefully, and all of a sudden, your car hits something. Would it be an object, or someone else's car, it is essential that you stop. Make sure that your car engine is turned off and your hazard lights are on. Please remember that failing to stop after a crash is an offence under the Road Traffic Act.
Then, look around and make sure everyone is okay. If someone is injured, call the police immediately on 999.
If no one is badly hurt, you might still need to call the police if the other driver involved drove off after the accident, if you feel like there is foul play involved, or if you haven't been able to give your details at the time of the crash. In this situation, call the police on 101. Failure to report your accident to the police within 24 hours may result in a fine, penalty points or even removal of your licence.
For more information about how to react in after an accident on UK roads, you can read the corresponding articles on the government's website.
2. Give and collect details
Everyone involved in a crash should give their name and address to the other drivers. Even if you hit something that is off the road, like a parked car, you should stop and leave your contact details.
Ask all other drivers for their insurer details, and if they are the registered keeper of the car they're driving. If they are not, make sure you note down the name and address of the car owner. If a driver involved in the crash leaves the scene, or refuses to give their details, make sure you call 101 straightaway.
In the process, remember never to admit that the accident was your fault. The UK road law is complicated, and you the stress of the crash might lead you to evaluate the situation incorrectly. If you admit being at fault, your words could be prejudicial, especially if you weren't at fault in the first place.
While collecting details, it is important that you get a clear image of what happened. You can take photos of the scene around you, all cars involved as well as your own. You can also write down what you can notice about the weather, the time, any injuries and sketch the positioning of the cars. All the information you'll be able to collect will help you later. This includes asking any eyewitnesses for their contact details, as they could help the authorities understand what happened.
3. Contact you insurance
Once the situation is under control, immediately call your insurance to inform them about the crash. Failing to report a crash to your insurance could invalidate your cover, even if you're not planning on making a claim!
If your insurance happens to be Marshmallow, please remember their claim service line is open 24/7, and their friendly staff are always happy to help!
If another vehicle was involved, make sure you provide your insurer with the other person’s name, their address and contact details, their registration number, and their car insurance details. You should also tell them about any eyewitnesses who would be willing to support your claim. The more details you provide, the better chance you have of the accident being assessed properly. If you decide to go ahead and make a claim, your insurance will explain the next steps.
Looking for a car insurance whose mission is make sure every customer is treated fairly? Get a quote today with Marshmallow!