What to do after you have a crash

Being involved in a car crash, even a minor one, can be a traumatic experience.
Being involved in a car crash, even a minor one, can be a traumatic experience. Will Hunter

BEING involved in a car crash, even a minor one, can be a traumatic experience.

For those lucky enough to have avoided one, let me tell you that James Bond and Jason Bourne aren't the best references for how a crash affects your ability to think straight, much less get out and immediately kung-fu some baddies into submission.

I've been in two crashes, both of them on the Mother's Day weekend and both involved being rear-ended at a red light on my way to the shops.

Joe Fitzgerald.
Joe Fitzgerald.

Each time I was shaken up enough that all I could think of was how to get Mum's present with no car. The finer details of whether I was injured or remembering to get enough of the other driver's details were lost in the fog.

Obviously, the most important issue is to check for danger to yourself or others before assisting any injured parties. You must report a crash to police immediately if:

• A vehicle needs to be towed away

• Any driver involved in the crash doesn't give their details to the other drivers

• Anyone involved is killed or injured

• If you estimate vehicle damage (other than the driver's) would exceed $2500.

Be sure to get the full names, addresses and numbers of all other drivers, and the rego and the insurance details of the vehicles. This was where I went wrong and it cost me the months of unnecessary complications.

Contacting your insurance company as soon as possible to lodge a claim will help speed up the process. Having photos of the crash scene can be also helpful if the police aren't called to attend.

What those two crashes taught me, apart from the fact that I'm not James Bond or Jason Bourne, is that thinking and acting clearly in the aftermath can make all the difference.

Topics:  cars news motoring racq

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