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What to do if you're involved in a car accident

Car insurance experts at Uswitch have put together a checklist on what to do if you’re involved in an accident and essential car safety tips to help drivers stay safe on the road.

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What do I do if I am involved in a car accident?

  • Stop the car as soon as possible and try to get on to the hard shoulder if there is one. If not, try to get as safely out of the road as possible. In any occasion, turn off the engine and switch your hazard lights on. 

  • Check for any injuries for yourself and any of your passengers first, and then anyone else who has been involved in the accident. 

  • Call the police immediately and if anyone needs medical attention, call the ambulance too.

  • Avoid getting out of the car if the road is busy, and wait until the police have arrived if you can. They will have additional signage to be able to secure the space around your car. 

  • Although you may feel shock, try to focus and take down as much information as you can. We have made a checklist below: 

Compulsory exchange of motoring details, which will include:

To ensure ease of a car insurance claim following an accident: 

  • Any passengers and witnesses to the accident (their name and contact details). 

  • The registered owner of the other vehicle (if this is a collision with another vehicle) whether this is the driver involved or someone else (you can ask the driver). 

  • If you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle such as a lorry or other goods transport vehicle, take down the name of the company and the numbers on both the vehicle and the trailer if there is one. 

  • Take pictures and record as much detail of the vehicle(s) involved as possible, no matter how big or small. 

  • Gender: Men are nearly twice as likely to be involved in a car accident than women. 

  • Age: Those aged 40-49 are most likely to be involved in a car accident compared to other age groups. 

  • Age and gender: Boys under the age of 17 are seven times more likely to be involved in an accident than girls under the age of 17. 

  • New drivers: Boys aged 17-19 are twice as likely to be involved in an accident than girls aged 17-19. 

  • 30mph zones see the most accidents every year with 60mph zones coming second. 

5 essential car safety tips 

Avoid hottest time of the day 

Driving in the heat is enough to stress anyone out, especially if you have young kids or dogs in the car. Blasting the aircon (if you have aircon) can also be distracting and not allow you to hear the sounds around you. You might also find yourself caught in traffic if you live near the coast or any other leisure parks. 

Keep a pair of sunglasses in the car 

Glare from windows and other cars on the road can cause headaches and hinder the driver’s visibility. Wearing sunglasses can help you see more clearly and prevent any issues.  

Make sure your child is in the right car seat 

If your child is securely strapped in they will be less likely to cause distraction on the road, and if the worst were to happen and a collision occurred, they will be as safe as can be. This children’s car seat guide can help with this. 

Avoid busiest time of the day 

Although this may seem like an obvious one, everyone has had those moments of thinking ‘it's just a bit of traffic’, but busy roads means more chances of serious accidents. Avoiding busy times can not only shave off journey time, but also help keep you safer. 

Try to stay cool-headed 

It's easy to let road rage, anger and frustration get the best of you on the road, but this can increase your likelihood of being involved in an accident. 

According to injury lawyers, Pines Salomon: “Road rage is one of the top causes for car accidents. Worse, as road rage incidents frequently occur on motorways and dual carriageways, the car accidents that result can be extremely serious and involve additional cars.”

Data source: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/reported-road-accidents-vehicles-and-casualties-tables-for-great-britain#vehicles-in-reported-road-accidents-ras20