Motability: What To Do If You’re In A Car Accident
Car accidents are extremely common but also unexpected – an occurrence which takes place in a matter of seconds but can have drastic repercussions. A car accident is upsetting and inconvenient at the least and life-changing at the worst. In such a situation it can be difficult to know what to do, as events happen so rapidly that the details of the accident itself, can seem somewhat of a blur. However, there are several steps which can be taken to prevent a bad situation from getting worse, as well as ensuring your insurance is paid out.
Stop the Car
Immediately following an accident, it is essential that you stop the car, failure to do so is an offence. As soon as it is safe to do so, turn off the engine and switch the hazard lights on, to alert any oncoming traffic to the incident.
Check for Injuries
Check all the passengers including yourself for injuries – in the case of serious injuries dial 999 for an ambulance immediately. Even if injuries only appear minor, it is important to make a note of them for insurance purposes.
When to Call the Police
The police should be contacted immediately if any of the following occur:
- Somebody has been injured
- The accident is blocking a road or causing another type of obstruction
- The other driver leaves the scene without sharing their details
- The collision appears to have been caused deliberately
- If you suspect the other driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
The police should be contacted within 48 hours following an accident, failure to do so could result in points on your license, or depending on the severity of the accident, your license may be disqualified.
Ensuring you exchange details with the other driver is extremely important for insurance purposes, try to find out if the driver is, in fact, the registered owner of the vehicle and if not, who the owner is. As well as taking details from any witnesses depending on the nature of the accident.
Even if the accident was only minor, if you do not exchange details at the scene, the accident should be reported to the police as soon as possible.
It is a good idea to try to gather as much information as possible from the scene of the accident in order to have the most accurate record possible, this can include taking photos to record the position of the vehicles, as well as other aspects such as registration numbers, the make and model of the other vehicle, the time and date as well as the weather conditions.
If the collision occurred with a van or lorry, it is a good idea to take pictures of any logo or branding they may have. In some cases, foreign lorries have different plates on the actual lorry itself to the trailer.
Do Not Admit Responsibility
It is important not to discuss details of what you think happened during the accident immediately following. Do not admit responsibility or apologise for the accident until you are completely sure what happened, as this can limit liability.
What If No Other People Were Involved?
If for example, you crashed into a barrier, into a parked car or private property, it is still important to leave your details at the scene. If the incident is captured by CCTV and the driver fails to leave their details, this could cause future problems. It is advisable to leave a note stating your contact details.
When Does the Insurance Company Need Notifying?
Ideally, this should happen as soon as possible – most insurance companies will ask for specific details of the accident, such as your policy number and the make and registration of your vehicle. It may help speed up the claim if you are able to provide additional details of the other party.
If your car is under the Motability scheme, then it is important to follow the above steps, as well as reporting the incident to RSA Motability as soon as possible. Contact number 0300 0373737. Motability will ask for your details and the details of your vehicle as well as the details of any passengers in the vehicle and the date, time and location of the accident. They may also ask for specific details of any other cars involved in the collision, including the vehicle make, model and colour and their insurance details.
Motability also provides roadside assistance, therefore if you are unable to drive your car following an accident, call the RAC on 0800 73 111 73 – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.