What to do after a car accident

Car accidents can be an unfortunate reality of driving and something we strongly hope to avoid. However, if you happen to be involved in one, it’s good to be prepared and know what to do.

1. Try to remain calm and check for injuries

If you have experienced a car crash, do your best to remain calm. Check yourself for injuries and ensure that you are not hurt. The following steps are for a minor car accident procedure. If you or people around you are injured, contact the emergency services immediately.

2. Pull over in a safe place

If you have been involved in an accident, and are still able to drive your car, carefully drive your vehicle into a safe place. If you are in the middle of the road, this can pose a hazard to other drivers. If safe, move your car to the side of the road, away from moving traffic. Regardless of whether you can move your car or not, put your hazard lights on to let other drivers know there is a hazard present and to be careful on the road.

3. Check other drivers and passengers for injuries

Safely exit your vehicle and ensure other drivers and passengers of involved cars are not injured. If they are, contact the emergency services immediately.

4. If you were not at fault, do not admit fault!

When it comes to what to do in a car accident that’s not your fault, it’s important not to say anything that someone could interpret as you admitting fault.

5. Information you should get in a car accident

Whether at fault or not, it’s a good idea to gather information from other drivers involved and provide them with your information. This should include:

  • their full name
  • contact number
  • insurance information
  • drivers license number
  • car registration details

Where possible, you should also take photos of the damage that has occurred to any cars involved, including your own. If possible, speak with any witnesses to the accident and record their details.

6. Write down when and where the accident occurred

Take note of the date and time the accident occurred. Also, write down the road it happened on and any landmarks around to give a more precise location.

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7. Report the accident to police

Call the police and let them know that an accident has occurred. Remember to let them know the time and place it happened, contact details of those involved, and any other important details. If emergency assistance is not needed then do not call 000. The non-emergency police number is 131 444 nationwide.

8. Contact your insurance provider

Regardless of whether you are at-fault for the accident or not, it can be a good idea to call your insurance provider as soon as reasonably possible. Your insurance provider might also be able to assist you with getting your car towed if that is a service you require.

9. Is your car totalled or needs towing?

If your car is totalled, you’ll want to remove it from the scene quickly and take it somewhere safe. Car insurance providers like Australia Post arrange towing for your car in these circumstances.

Australia Post home and motor insurance is issued and underwritten by QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited (ABN 78 003 191 035, AFSL 239545) (QBE). Australian Postal Corporation (ABN 28 864 970 579, AR No: 338646) is an authorised representative of Australia Post Services Pty Limited (ABN 67 002 599 340, AFSL 457551) which is acting (under its own AFSL) on behalf of QBE. Any advice provided is general only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. To decide if this product is right for you, please read the relevant Combined Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement, and Target Market Determination. Any reference to value and competitiveness refers to an average market segment and may not include your specific circumstances.