Road accidents often occur because of human error. In these times of trouble, experiencing emotions at an unusual level of complexity, depth and intensity is a natural part of being in conflict, however, it could potentially lead to irrational decisions as well.
Hence, our comprehensive guide will cover all the important bases to minimise your liability when you find yourself involved in an unfortunate incident.
AT THE ACCIDENT SITE
Step #1: Call An Ambulance For Medical AssistanceImage Source: Nighteye
Before all else, quickly establish the number of vehicles involved in the accident and make sure no one is suffering from any life-threatening injuries. However, in the event that the situation has gone out of control, call an ambulance immediately to seek medical assistance.
The police will need to be called as well, but only if the accident involves damaging government property, foreign vehicles, pedestrians/cyclists, fatalities or a hit-and-run.
For reference, these are the emergency hotlines in Singapore: (It is recommended to store these numbers in your speed dial!)
- Ambulance: 995
- Non-Emergency Ambulance: 1777
- EMAS (Expressway Monitoring & Advisory System) Vehicle Recovery Service: 1800-2255-582
- Police: 999
- Police Hotline: 1800 255 0000
- Traffic Police: 6547 1818
Step #2: Gather Evidence Of The AccidentImage Source: Novygorod
When everyone’s safety has been ensured, proceed to take detailed photos that reveal the overall context of the crash. Photographing the accident scene is extremely critical because it preserves visual evidence for your injury claim or lawsuit. Next, record all the pertinent information concerning the accident, which includes:
- Date/Time/Location of the accident
- Brief description of how the accident happened
- Damage and position of accident vehicle(s)
- Particulars of witnesses (If any)
- Registration number and description of other vehicles
Step #3: Warn Other Motorists Of Road BlockageImage Source: Road Signs Direct
After gathering evidence of the accident, be considerate and move your vehicles to the side of the road. However, if your vehicle is damaged, arrange for a tow-truck to come and retrieve it. To avoid contributing to traffic congestion, alert other motorists of the accident scene by turning on your hazard lights.
Alternatively, placing a reflective triangle or traffic cones would ensure better visibility for motorists, especially at night.
These are a few essential accessories to have in your car boot to prepare you for any unforeseen circumstances!
Step #4: Exchange Contact Information With The Involved PartiesImage Source: New Hampshire Defense Lawyer
Last, but by no means least, approach the involved parties to exchange contact information. This list should contain their NRIC, full name, home address, mobile number, license plate number as well as their insurer’s details.
In the event that a motorist behaves irrationally or refuses to cooperate, remain calm but do not feel pressured to apologise, even if you are at fault. Avoid any inclination to react in anger because doing so would not help the situation.
AFTER THE ACCIDENT
Step #5: Lodge A Traffic Accident ReportImage Source: Lapeze Johns
According to the Singapore Police Force (SPF), you are bound by law to file a police report within 24 hours of the accident if the accident involves the following:
- Damage to government property
- Foreign vehicle
- Pedestrian or cyclist
- Hit-and-run case
- Injury cases where at least one person involved in the accident was taken to hospital from the accident scene by an ambulance/ self conveyed; or any party involved in the accident was injured and obtained outpatient medical leave for 3 days or more.
By doing so, it also enables them to conduct investigations and determine whether any offence has been committed by any party. It is also compulsory to provide the information mentioned in the third step.
Step #6: Contact Your Car Insurance CompanyImage Source: Direct Asia Insurance
Apart from filing a police report, you are contractually obligated to inform your insurance provider of the accident as well, especially if it caused extensive damage to both vehicles.
On the contrary, if those vehicles only had minor cosmetic damage and both parties are willing to settle the matter privately, be sure to have the agreement in writing. Even though it might not be legally binding, unless you have engaged a lawyer, it offers a deterrent against flip-flopping on the part of the other motorist.
However, if both parties cannot come to a mutual agreement, then just go through with the insurer claims route. Your insurer will conduct their investigation of the accident.
Step #7: Bring Your Car To An Authorised WorkshopImage Source: Chevin Fleet
Before sending your car for repair, check with your insurer on which workshops are authorised. The workshop you go to should be able to hand you the necessary paperwork to submit together with your claim.
Some common behaviours resulting in accidents include distractions, driving under the influence, failure to wear proper protective gear, jumping a red light, non-adherence to lane driving and speeding. Thus, to break these bad habits, here are a few essential tips that we should be aware of to maintain focused on the road and prevent accidents from occurring.
Remember to always stay calm and take the right actions because you can prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. Lastly, should you have any other useful tips or advice for us, please feel free to relay your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below!