You can never predict when you might be involved in a car accident, it can happen because someone took their eyes off the road for a second or in more serious crashes because of drugs or alcohol. The most important thing to remember when you've just been involved in an accident is to not panic, it's the absolute worst thing you can do and will only help to escalate things further.
Instead of Panicking have a plan on what to do.
1. If possible move your car to a safe spot on the side of the road to reduce congestion. If the car is too badly damaged put on the hazard lights, turn off the ignition and leave the car where it is.
2. Check that everyone is okay, Not just in your car, but in others also. If someone is trapped, dead or injured call 000 straight away.
3. Call the police, The time period of which you call the police is directly dependent on the severity of the accident. By law the police need to be called as soon as possible if:
• Someone is injured or has died
• One of the drivers fails to stop and give their details
• There is serious damage to property or animals
• If you suspect that the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• A bus or truck needs to be towed
However, if there is only minor damage and both parties involved are happy to simply exchange insurance details then you can call the police within 24 hours and notify them of the accident.
4. Exchange details. When you're in such a stressful situation, sometimes the most obvious things can completely escape you. So it's important to have a list of details you need to get from the other driver involved, these include:
• Name, contact details and license number
• Details of the other car: make, model and registration number
• A brief summary of what happened including the exact location
• The other driver's insurance details
5. Don't take the blame. While it might be tempting to apologise profusely if you feel that you are in fact at fault for the accident, leave that up to the insurance companies to decide. Try to also keep a level head, if you believe that the other person was at fault, don't argue with them. It will only make things far more tense and the person might not be willing to co-operate with you.