Then Murphy’s Law comes along and screws it all up.
Or that dastardly driver who had just ploughed through your spanking new BMW.
Accident happens, especially on the road.
We are unprepared for what comes after a fender bender.
Of course, most of us are.
We are careful and considerate drivers who do not get into automobile accidents every year.
That is why we have prepared a practical step-by-step guide.
What should you do after a motor accident?
Safety check – your number 1 priority.
A long screeching sound. A loud and forceful impact.
Your head was pushed forward and almost instantly jerked backward.
You tried to collect your thoughts after a painful whiplash on your neck.
“What should I do?”
The first moments after a collision is to do a safety check.
If smoke is billowing out from your bonnet or a there a is a visible fire, get out of the vehicle immediately.
Help your passengers to do the same if they are injured.
Check on the other parties involved and do the same.
If it is pedestrian or a motorcyclist, it is likely that they are injured badly.
Call an ambulance without delay.
First order of thing is always to make sure everyone is safe and sound.
Although yelling at the other driver is important to some, you must fight that urge.
Ignore the other party and get your priority right.
Photographing – capture the evidence.
It is not the right time to take selfies with the burning vehicles.
You always do that when it comes to an accident that you are not involved.
For now, you have to collect enough evidence for your insurer to work with.
If the vehicles are still in the original position, quickly snap some photographs of the positions.
More so if the other party is the one at fault.
Capture the vehicles with a picture which shows the offending vehicle encroaching onto the lane markers.
Next, snap the vehicle registration plates of all the vehicles involved.
If it is a 50-vehicle chain collision and/or it is physically impossible to capture all of them, record the vehicles that are closest to you to the chain.
Too often, the motorist forgets this minor but vital detail and thus, unable to seek compensation from the errant driver.
Lastly, take photos of the damages caused by the accident.
Take both close-up and wider views of the vehicle damages (including yours).
If a lamppost, centre divider or any building structure has been damaged, you may want to take a picture of it.
This will help your insurer to mitigate the claim payout.
You can finally turn your attention back to the other party and shout back at him.
No, do not do that.
If the other party is cool or apologetic, do engage him or her and exchange information.
Record the NRIC, Name, Telephone, Address , Vehicle Registration Number & Insurer.
An easier way is to take a snapshot of the front and back of his/her NRIC if permission is sought and given.
If the other party refuses to exchange details and in an agitated state, do not get into a heated argument with him or her.
Remember that you possess enough information from the photographing stage.
The registration plate is sufficient for your workshop to find out which insurance company he/she is covered by.
Nevertheless, it is always good to get the personal details of the other party as insurance companies will deny coverage if their driver does not report the accident to them.
When that occurs, you may have a harder time making a claim.
Escalate to the right people.
First question on your mind – should you call the Police?
In Singapore, it is not compulsory to inform the Police unless one or more of the following conditions is met.
2) Damage to government property
3) Foreign vehicle
4) Pedestrian or cyclist
For injuries, you have to report to the Police if anyone has been conveyed to the hospital.
If any of the involved parties subsequently does visit a doctor and given 3 or more days of medical leave, a Police Report must be made.
Next, do you need a tow truck?
If it is minor accident and you are certain that your vehicle is still safe to drink, you do not need to wait around for one.
If you have even 1% doubt, call your insurer’s hotline to arrange for towing.
Regardless of any circumstances do you allow your vehicle to be towed by someone that is not sent by your insurer.
Except for EMAS which is tasked by LTA to remove your vehicle from the expressways asap.
Document the accident to your insurer.
Perhaps you have already made a Police report by this stage.
Not just yet.
You have to report the accident to your insurer.
The motor insurance policy stipulates that you have to make a report within one working day of the accident.
Miss out on this and you may find yourself footing the repair and medical bills of all parties in the accident.
Flip over your Certificate of Insurance and you are likely to find a whole list of reporting centres for your insurance company.
Alternatively, you can check their website or call their hotline for assistance.
It is lot to digest.
Not easy to recall all the steps.
Thankfully, we have made it simple.
You just have to remember the first letter of each step..
S – Safety check
P – Photograph
E – Exchange details
E – Escalate
D – Documentation
Say no to the touts on the road.
Say yes to a calm and systematic way of accident handling.
Just follow SPEED and handle any motor vehicle mishap like a pro.
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.