No matter how careful you are, it’s almost impossible to avoid a car accident. You could have stopped at a traffic light and were waiting for the lights to turn green when a joker rear-ended you because he was dozing off. Or you could be minding your own business on your lane when one joker decided to cut into your lane while also cutting into you.
So, trust me when I say that even the safest driver gets into an accident.
As a driver for years, I’ve learned one thing: be prepared, because you never know what’s going to happen next. We all know what we should do when we get into an accident, but how about things that we shouldn’t do?
After all, cars in Singapore are freaking expensive. Here, take a video that we’ve done about car ownership here:
Here’re ten things that you must never, ever do if you get into an accident, be it minor or major. Trust me, it’s based on years of experience.
I know it’s hard not to panic, especially when it’s your first accident, but here’s the thing: you won’t achieve anything if you let your emotions control you. Stay calm, even if you see a car flying away from you.
Don’t exit your vehicle until you’re sure it’s safe to do so
Check your side mirror and ensure that there’re no cars around. You won’t want to cause another accident, or worse, get injured from a second accident. Stop your car, off your engine and assess before alighting.
Don’t stay in the middle of the road, or anywhere dangerous
If you need to spend some time writing something, or taking photos, ensure you’re in a safe spot. And if you need to wait for a tow truck, lift up your car boot, switch on your hazard lights and stay far away from your car. Your hazard lights would suffice in directing traffic: don’t be a hero and direct traffic in the middle of the road.
Don’t focus on your vehicle first—check for causalities, if any
All parts of your car are expendable, but lives aren’t. Check and determine if you need to call an ambulance—it’s not only heartless when you just check your car the moment an accident occurs, it’s also fatal, for one minute of delay could potentially save a life.
Even if you’re certain you’re at fault, don’t apologize first. Check out this article on why apologizing during a car accident would cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket. The moment you apologize, you’ve acknowledged that you’re in the wrong: even if you’ve just stopped at a red light and someone just hit you from behind.
Don’t settle for a private settlement unless you’ve everything in black and white
Sometimes, the other party would just pay you on the spot for the accident. Get everything down into writing, because there’ve been countless horror stories online about how people backed out from their words and did a claim even after a private settlement has been done verbally. If you need to, you can download this form and leave it in your car.
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Don’t accept any unsolicited help until you’re certain it’s legit
Sometimes, people would stop by and tell you that they’re working for some tow truck company, or some workshop. Follow every instruction by your insurance company instead—they should have a tow truck ready for you.
Reason being, some vehicles would stop by and offer a tow truck service, and knowing that you’re anxious, they’ll jack up the price (and receive a big commission).
Don’t leave the scene or move off if it’s a police case
It will be a police case if it involves the destruction or damage of public property or when an ambulance is needed. If in doubt, call your insurance company and seek their advice.
Don’t just take pictures of the accident vehicle / vehicles
Take pictures of the surrounding and ensure you take images of the accident vehicle from all angles. Try to remember thee condition of the road and weather, as this information would be needed when you report an accident. If possible, take images of your injuries if you have one.
Don’t believe what the other party says
He could just give you his or her name and contact number, but take a picture of his NRIC and driving license as well. If he doesn’t have it, take note of that and inform your insurance company. I’m not implying that people lie often—it’s just that when things are so sensitive, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
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