At the age of 19 years old, as a young driver on my Provisional (P-Plate) License, I was involved in my first car accident.
I was stopped at a red light when the car behind me, to put it simply – failed to stop.
Following the collision, we both drove slowly to a clear space on the side of the road (fortunately neither of us were injured) to exchange information.
It was of course at this point, as I was stepping out of the car, when I asked myself: “What are we supposed to do?”
I had always imagined in such circumstances I would calmly take out a pen and paper and take notes of all the relevant information.
I had no pen and no paper.
I looked towards the other driver for guidance when; in a cruel twist of fate, she too was a young P-Plate Driver.
We provide the following practical tips should you ever have a prang on the road.
1. Safety First
As always, safety is the number one priority. Place your hazard lights on and; if appropriate, move your car slowly to the side of the road or onto a quiet side-street away from the traffic. Of course, check on the condition of other drivers and if you’re unsure, call an ambulance.
2. Obtain Relevant Information
The following information is most useful moving forward after a motor vehicle accident:
- Driver’s License(s);
- Registration numbers;
- Insurance details;
- Damage to vehicles;
- Time/location of accident;
- Email and phone contact for the other driver and any witnesses.
3. Take photos!
Remember, especially in the absence of pen and paper, your mobile phone is a valuable tool. Don’t be afraid to use your phone to make notes or take photos of any of relevant information after the accident.