Ade prides himself as a careful young man. He pays his bills on time, keeps extra cash on hand in case of emergencies, never forgets to check if his windows are closed and all the doors in this two-bedroom apartment are properly locked before leaving his home.
However, what he didn’t bargain for that day was getting his car hit by a careless driver on the third mainland bridge.
A lot of us are like Ade and others like the careless driver. So, if you were Ade, what would you do?
As long as you commute by road daily, you are bound to witness or experience car accidents caused by distracted driving, overspeeding, drink driving,poor driving training, tiredness, road rage, faulty engineering amongst other factors.
This may altogether be avoided on your part, but remember you can only control your actions and not the actions of others? And of course, the question comes up again, what would you do if you were Ade?
As a matter of fact, getting angry and cursing at the ‘careless driver’ may be Ade’s next line of action, but it won’t change the current situation he is facing and on top of that his time and energy would be totally wasted doing both.
In reality, if you find yourself in Ade’s shoes. Here’s what you should do:
- Check yourself: This should be the first thing to do. Ensure you evaluate yourself for injuries. If there are other passengers with you in the car when the accident occurred, ensure they too are fine. If there is an emergency medical condition, get help immediately.
- Get moving: In the case of a minor accident, try to move your car out of the way to the side of the road. If you can’t do that especially in an emergency medical condition, stand in a safe area not far from your car till help arrives.
- Stay calm: This is the part many drivers overlook, but it determines how the rest of your interaction with others will go. Trading blames or engaging in arguments may make matters worse. Try as much as you can to be polite.
- Exchange information: Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver’s license number and license plate number. In a case where the other driver isn’t the owner of the vehicle, get the owner’s information too.
- Take pictures: This is an extremely important part you shouldn’t miss. Take photographs of all the cars involved in the accident. This act will protect you against fraudulent claims from the other driver.
- Call the police: It’s important you inform the police of the accident, get them to come to the scene if necessary. Also, ensure you file a police report.
- Stay Put: Don’t leave the scene before the police arrive. Cross-check to see if you have all the necessary information before you leave.
- Visit your doctor: Some injuries may not be apparent as soon as the accident occurs. But it is important to get yourself checked out in case you have internal injuries or other medical issues.
- Call your insurance company: This is as important as everything we’ve talked about earlier, if you plan on getting your car in one piece. Understand what your car insurance policy covers and provide your insurance company all necessary information concerning the accident, including the filed police report so you can be reimbursed quickly.
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