10 Steps you should take after being involved in an accident.

Nobody wants to be involved in an accident, but the grim reality is that accidents happen, despite whether you’re at fault or not.

According to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019, there were a total of 5,676 collisions recorded.

Between 1st January 2021 and 31st May 2021 there were 1,541 collisions recorded compared with 1,677 between January and May 2020 –
a decrease of 136 collisions (8.1%). But it is also important to note that lockdown measures in relation to Covid-19 were in place during both of
the key reporting periods which means the reduction in collisions seen in 2020 and 2021 should be seen in the context of overall traffic volumes which
were estimated to have more than halved. 

Have you been involved in an accident?

Follow this 10-step checklist.

1. Stay calm

Being involved in an accident is usually very stressful.

But it’s at this stage you have to try to remain calm.

Long deep inhales and exhales will get your heart’s BPM back to normal.

2. Keep the conversation simple

Check on the other driver and make sure they’re ok.

When speaking to the driver, remain calm and composed.

Unlock your mobile phone and type in details as quickly as possible

3. Never admit responsibility.

People involved in an accident are stressed and pumped full of adrenaline.

This is not the time to ascertain who was at fault or who should take the blame.

And admitting responsibility even when you believe you’re at fault is not helpful; leave the determination of responsibility to an officer of the law.

4. Contact the police

If it’s a serious accident, always call 999.

If it is a minor collision call 101.

This is a vital step as you will need a record of the police’s accident report later at the request of insurance companies.

5. Gather witnesses

In this era of dash cams, mounted traffic cameras and mobile phones, potential evidence is there if you look for it.

After a collision, gather any witnesses, ask for their names, telephone numbers, registration plates etc.

If you notice any of the witnesses with a dash cam, share your email address and ask them to email you the footage.

6. Exchange contact information

It’s important to have witnesses that can back up your version of events.

Some people are hesitant to get involved or share their contact details but if you believe they seen the accident, take down their car model, colour and registration plate.

Exchange contact details with the driver of the vehicle you collided with too.

7. Take good photos and notes

We’re lucky in 2020 to have mobile phones of similar quality to a professional photographer’s camera.

After a collision, walk around your car and take as many photographs as you can from different angles. Then go over to the other vehicle and repeat this exercise.

After taking photos of both cars separately now take several photographs of both vehicles together, capturing the area around the collision too.

8. Speak calmly to the police

When the police arrive at the scene, recount your story.

We know it’s a stressful time but try to leave out emotion and keep your story factual.

9. Call CRASH Services

CRASH are NI’s largest accident management company and can take care of everything after an accident.

CRASH can arrange vehicle recovery, collision investigation, organise repairs, provide a replacement vehicle, liaise with insurance companies and offer legal and medical assistance. They aim to take away the hassle from an accident and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

There is no fee for the accident management service as all costs are recovered from insurers involved.

Contact CRASH on 028 9066 0244 for further help and advice.

10. Please don’t feel ashamed: it happens to us all

A lot of people feel a sense of shame and guilt after an accident.

But nobody leaves their house with the intention of causing accidents, so don’t feel ashamed or guilty.

Regardless of whether it was your fault or not, accidents happen.

NIBA is a collective of independent repairers operating in the car and light commercial vehicle market in Northern Ireland. If you need help with vehicle repairs, click here.

This new must-have accident advice guide for motorists explains your rights in detail and how to deal with insurance and claims management companies.

The advice guide will be of massive benefit to all Northern Ireland drivers, and particularly at a time after a collision which can be highly stressful and confusing.

FREE DOWNLOAD

Our repairers use the latest repair and finishing techniques – simply complete the form and you will receive estimates for your repair.

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