Top 10 things to check after a car accident

Stefan Petrov


Never leave the scene before the police arrives or the issue is resolved even if it’s a minor accident. Not contacting the police at all is illegal in the UAE, so make sure to wait for them to come or report the minor accident with Dubai Police App if you happen to be in Dubai. It’s really simple and just take 2 minutes to get report on SMS. Not only fleeing from the scene of an accident is morally wrong, but it’s a criminal offence to do so as if you are hiding something. Always, and I do mean always, stay at the scene of the accident. Off course move the vehicle aside on the hard shoulder (yellow line) so that you don't block incoming traffic.


2. Check yourself

Before you can help anyone else, it’s crucial to know that you’re capable of doing so. Do a quick test to determine whether you can move all your body parts: arms, legs, head, neck, shoulder etc just to see if anything hurts. It doesn’t hurt to quickly see whether you can remember your name, address and something of significance, just to ensure that you don’t have a major concussion.


3. Check the occupants

If you’re conscious enough and can establish that you’re okay, briefly ask or check whether everyone else in the car (if present) is fine. If it’s something minor and the person is able to move, help them. If they are unconscious or are feeling neck or back pain, don’t move them an inch. Doing so could lead to serious, sometimes permanent damage. Wait for the paramedics to arrive.


4. Alert the authorities - Call 999 (In UAE) for any road accidentsObviously the next step should be alerting the authorities so that the paramedics, the police and even the fire department (if needed) can come as soon as possible. The sooner they are alerted, the sooner they can come. This may further prevent casualties and save lives. You only need to call Police at 999 and if ambulance or fire is needed they will ask you and take care of the rest. When Police arrives at seen and evaluate the whole situation, they might fine you if they find it's your fault to cause an accident. You can check the here the comprehensive list of  RTA Fines and Traffic Fines in UAE


5. Protect the scene/Prevent an accident

If the accident happens to be at a dangerous location, say a sharp blind corner or a crest (an uphill section) making the accident difficult for other road users to detect, get out of the way first. Get everyone involved to safety at the side of the road at least, and alert other road users if you can. Place the red safety emergency triangle few meters before the your car to warn other incoming traffic to slow down and be aware of your situation.


6. Give a true statement

When the police arrive, be sure to give them a true statement of everything you can remember. Everyone knows that you might be in a state of shock so they won’t take anything against you if some details do come up later on, but make sure you don’t lie or give false information just to cover up and save yourself. The truth will eventually come out. If you’re asked whether you’re hurt and you can’t determine for yourself, say that you’re not sure instead of saying no. It’s better to get checked out right away as car injuries often surface hours or days after the actual accident.


7. Check your vehicle

Go over the condition of your car. In more than 80 percent of car accidents, the vehicle is still in a drive-able condition if the damage is purely cosmetic. Don’t be fooled by the exterior however. Inspect the engine bay and if possible, the wheel arches along with the underside of the vehicle. Make sure there’s nothing leaking out and nothing critical is broken or hanging out. Having a busted headlight or a chipped wheel may not be that big of an issue, but a broken control arm certainly is.


8. Don’t rush it

If you car is in drive-able condition and you didn’t have to call a tow truck, take it easy. Just because it looks okay doesn’t mean it’s the same as it was before the accident. Slow down and get the car home in one piece. Avoid driving it until you have it checked by a mechanic to confirm it’s safe.


9. Inform the insurance company

Make sure to inform your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. Be truthful about what happened because if they discover that you’ve been lying, you can end up with no coverage from their end, even if you weren’t at fault.


10. Go to a doctor

If you’re experiencing some problems the following days, don’t hesitate to visit the doctor. Even if you feel perfectly fine, it’s normal to do a check-up visit especially if it was a bigger accident. Don’t be scared to go to the hospital, delaying it can only make the problem much worse.


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