What to do in the event of an accident
On Australia’s roads from 1st January 2014 to 30th April 2014 there were 376 people who lost their lives on the roads. Road Safety is paramount to all road users. Keeping your vehicle in the best possible condition is the owner’s responsibility. Making sure that the brakes and tyres are road worthy is not the only part of the vehicle that requires regular attention. Suspension systems impact the effectiveness of the braking of a vehicle. Without suspension the vehicle will not pull up at the most crucial time. When you need it most.
In an accident, the difference between you and your passengers walking away after the accident or becoming on of these statistics can be as simple as changing your brake pads to allow you to stop in time.
64 of these road fatalities were in the state of Queensland. 17% of the countries road toll is in this state. Speed, fatigue, road conditions, intoxication and poor vehicle maintenance all contribute to this total.
Accidents are bound to happen, it is a sad fact of life. What we can do though is keep our cool and be forgiving to other drivers on the road.
Many people do not realise that if you are involved in an accident that you are responsible for and someone dies then you can go to jail for culpable driving. Not only will this destroy the victims family but also your own.
As many road users have experienced accidents happen every day. Some being fender benders where others are serious enough to cost someone their lives.
At the time of an accident there are so many emotions that are running high. Fear, adrenaline and anger can cloud the drivers mind and turn an unfortunate incident into a nightmare.
Accidents can occur from a simple error, bad timing, miscommunication or medical condition of the drivers. Some accidents can be just that the driver of the other vehicle was blinded by the sun, just didn’t see the Give Way sign or distracted by children in the back seat the car.
In the event that you have an agitated driver who has done the wrong thing and who becomes aggressive, try to keep them as calm as possible. Blaming each other for the accident doesn’t make the situation any better. Allow the police and insurance companies find who is at fault that is what they are there for. It is all about your safety and the safety your passengers.
The first thing to do in the event of an accident is to make sure that everyone is out of immediate danger. Call 000 for help if there are injured passengers.
- Check that all persons involved are okay
- Call 000 for the police to attend to the accident
- Call 000 for an ambulance if required
- Put on your hazard lights and display hazards signs
- Do not stay on the road as it puts you and others in danger of traffic passing by the accident. Especially on highways at high-speed zones.
- Keep calm and exchange license details, insurance details and contact phone numbers.
- Record the time, location and photograph the damage on both vehicles
- If there are eye witnesses ask for their contact details
- Call a tow truck company to move the vehicle
- Contact your insurance company
- Call 000 immediately in a major accident, especially if there are passengers trapped or hurt
- Keep injured passengers calm and keep them conscious by asking them questions. Assure them that help is on its way.
- Put all hazards lights on to warn other road users of the accident especially if you are at an intersection or blind corner where the injured are in immediate danger
- The Police will take down all the details from all parties. Ask for a copy of these and take note of the officer’s names that are attending the accident.
- Call your insurance company and organise a tow truck.
Now this is easy to take note of these items when you are not in shock or/and injured. If you feel overwhelmed contact a family member or friend and ask them to take down all the details for you.
Different types of accidents
Shopping Centre Car Park Accidents
Shopping Centres are a playground for bad parking. Whether it be mounting the curb or taking up two parks instead of one, there isn’t one motorist on the road who hasn’t seen a vehicle being parked in a ridiculous manner.
What is more concerning is that these motorists are also driving around the car park and at times taking other cars with them.
We all hope that if someone accidently drives into our vehicle that they will leave a note on our window with their details to contact them in relation to insurance to cover the damage but it is all too often that this does not happen and the culprit is quick to split from the scene.
One option is to check with the centre management if they have any surveillance of the car park and if there was anything captured on tape. This will not only help with identifying the driver but also help to see what has actually happened.
Car parks unfortunately have so many hazards in them that it isn’t just other vehicles that may damage your vehicle.
Shopping trolleys, doors being banged into the side of the vehicle and damage caused by theft.
Never leave valuables in view when parking in a shopping centre car park. Phones, jewellery and other valuables are too tempting for thieves and especially in multi level car parks there are a lot of dark corners that can make it easy for them to steal from the vehicle.
Entering a highway is one of the crucial times for motorists to be kind to one another. Many drivers shake their heads at each other when entering a highway whether it be from the driver entering isn’t getting up to speed or the motorist on the highway already not allowing the entering driver enough room to merge.
Highway speeds increase the risk of fatal accidents considerably.
Often impatient drivers put themselves and others at risk by taking unnecessary risk when trying to swerve between other motorists on the road. The consequence can be devastating.
When changing lanes, always indicate and allow other road users time to acknowledge this. Throwing on the indicator while changing lanes is not what they are designed for. Always check the blind spot as vehicles can come up behind you quickly on the highway and you may not even know that they are there.
Be aware of trucks and when overtaking make sure that you are clear of the vehicle as safely and quickly as possible. Never brake suddenly in front of a truck. The braking distance between a car and a truck is considerable and they need a lot more road to stop than you do.
Take care on the roads and look out for one another.