Anyone would be anxious right after getting into a collision. No one would ever expect an accident would occur, especially not one that would involve them.
Even if you follow through your vehicle routine maintenance religiously and stick to driving in accordance with regulations, the possibility of a road accident will always be there.
This is because driving is one of the most dangerous things people do. In the United Arab Emirates, road accidents have led to a staggering 6,681 road accident victims and 725 deaths — all in the year 2016.
While you can hope and pray to avoid an accident at all costs, it is still best to be ready in case the unexpected happens. If you ever get involved in a car crash, here are five things you need to do:
1. Take A Deep Breath And Keep Calm
After a collision, it is very easy to get rattled and feel overwhelmed. You might lose your temper and feel a wide range of emotions, from shock and fear to guilt and nervousness.
While these are all normal, it is important that you make an effort to stay calm.
One effective way to do this is to take a couple of slow, deep breaths. If this doesn’t work, try counting to ten.
When you’re feeling calm, you’ll have a clear head for the task at hand. This will also make it relatively easier to recount to the authorities what has transpired and help you prepare better to handle the situation like an adult.
Resist the urge to point fingers and get angry as it would only make matters worse.
2. Keep Yourself Safe
After calming down, the next thing you should do is to ensure that you and other people are safe.
If you can, get out of the car immediately after the crash. If not, stay seated with your seatbelt on, and switch on the hazard lights.
For minor collisions, turn off the car and use your emergency kit to deal with any injuries. Remember to set up warning triangles, orange cones, or emergency flares around the area to warn oncoming vehicles of the crash.
If nobody is injured and the vehicle can be driven, make an effort to move the vehicle to a safe spot so it won’t block traffic (i.e., in a parking lot or along the shoulder of a road). But take note that, in some places, moving a vehicle involved in a crash is prohibited.
In Dubai, it should be fine to drive away if the damage to your vehicle is only cosmetic (i.e., a dented panel or bumper). However, you may not be allowed to leave with your vehicle if the crash resulted in substantial damage and/or broken glass or taillights.
Instead, call your insurance company to ask for a recovery truck. To be sure, talk to the police on the scene before leaving. It is also important that you check in with your insurance company to verify the correct procedures in case of a crash.
3. Check For Injuries And Call For Help
Besides dealing with your car, you also need to check for injuries. Also, see if other people involved in the accident are okay or need medical help.
Remember that not all injuries are visible to the naked eye. If anyone – including you – feels dizzy or less than 100 percent okay, call your local emergency hotline to request assistance.
Once you’re connected, prepare to give the dispatcher information about the incident, including:
- Who is involved – The dispatcher will ask for your name and contact information in case the police and other authorities would need to talk to you again.
- What happened – Make sure that the dispatcher understands the details of the emergency. Besides talking about a road accident, you should also mention if there is a fire, medical emergency, or traffic hazard in the crash site.
- Where the incident occurred – The dispatcher would need the exact location of the site so they can tell the rescuers where to go. Give them the road name and number, mile markings, city, traffic signs, the travel direction of those involved, or any other information that could help pinpoint your exact location.
4. Take Pictures And Information
If you’re not injured, take notes and snap some pictures of the crash. These are useful for investigations in court and insurance agencies to determine who should be held accountable.
When describing vehicles in your notes, make sure you include the following details:
When taking pictures, be sure to include shots that show any damage to the vehicles, roads, and traffic signs. Images that show the direction each vehicle came from would also help.
If possible, draw a diagram of the crash site and indicate the exact location of the collision. It would also be better to include details like:
- The weather at the time of the accident
- Date and time
- Witnesses’ names and contact details
5. Deal With The Aftermath
Once the initial shock and investigation of the accident have passed, it is time for you to deal with the aftermath. This involves writing up insurance claims and looking for a reliable car accident workshop to fix your vehicle.
The easiest and safest way to narrow down your options after a car accident is to ask for other people’s recommendations.
Of course, this isn’t limited to individuals you know personally. You can check reviews posted on social media and community forums. Some shops also offer testimonies and reviews from their previous clients.
Once you have an initial list of candidates, ask if they can offer a guarantee on both the parts and workmanship. This will ensure that your vehicle is truly fixed and not just given a band-aid solution that could lead to bigger issues later.
You can also verify their credentials in performing a repair through certifications and seals of approval from country-wide or statewide associations. Since they implement rules and regulations for their members, you can verify if the repair shop you’re considering adheres to a specific code of conduct.
In Dubai, you can look for the seal of approval from the Roads and Transport Authority. These credentials should be either displayed on their website or on the garage’s premise, or both.
A Final Word
Road accidents are always a possibility in every driver’s life.
Besides knowing what to do should you get involved in a collision, you must make sure that you practice defensive driving to ensure everyone’s safety.
Ahmad Ramadan is a Managing Partner at Deutsche Technik Service Center, Dubai’s first and largest VW, Audi, Mercedes, Bentley, Porsche, & Lamborghini vehicle specialist and performance tuner. DT has also built an illustrious portfolio in classic car repair, maintenance, and restoration, as well as body work (accident repair, painting, and denting). DT Service Centre offers a full range of services: mechanical repairs, maintenance, servicing, etc.