10 Steps to Take After a Car Crash: Your Essential Guide

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Regardless of whether you’re a beginner driver or have years of experience, accidents can occur despite one’s skills behind the wheel. While being part of a crash, whether minor or major, can be disorienting, the most important thing is the safety and well-being of all involved.

If you’re involved in a car accident, whether you’re deemed at fault or not, here are 10 steps to follow to ensure your safety and effectively manage the situation.

1. Stop and assist:

Always stop at the scene of the crash and provide as much help as possible. Failure to do so can result in fines or even imprisonment, especially if the crash causes injury or death.

2. Turn off the ignition and turn on the hazard lights

Reduce the risk of fire by turning off your vehicle’s ignition. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

3. Check for hazards

If safe, check for any dangerous debris or materials on the road from the crash and move them if possible.

4. Contact emergency services if necessary

If the crash involves a truck carrying dangerous cargo, immediately call the police or fire brigade. Follow any emergency procedures indicated on the truck, if it’s safe to do so.

5. Exchange details

In NSW, it is a legal requirement to exchange details following a car accident. If you have car insurance and need to make a claim, you must provide essential information. Ensure to provide and gather the following details from the other driver(s) involved in the accident:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Owner of the vehicle (if the owner isn’t a driver involved)

6. Call for medical and police assistance

If anyone is injured or killed, call an ambulance and then the police on triple zero (000).

Police should also be called if the crash involves the following:

  • If a person is trapped, killed or injured
  • You suspect alcohol or drug involvement
  • Individuals fail to provide information
  • Traffic needs to be directed
  • Other hazards are present, such as property damage or leaking fluids.

When not to call the police:

  • There are no injuries
  • No vehicles need to be towed

If police are involved in the crash scene, you must always provide the following details:

  • Driver licence
  • Details of the crash
  • Details of the vehicles involved
  • Your name and address
  • Any information about any witnesses and other drivers involved.

7. Take photos of the accident

Take pictures of the accident scene, including all cars involved and their license plates. If it’s safe, snap photos from different angles. It is good to also take photographs of both sides of the other driver’s license, especially if their address isn’t clear. Image documentation can help your insurance company understand what happened.

8. Report the crash

If police do not attend the scene, report the crash within 24 hours if the vehicle is towed away, property is damaged, animals are injured, or you’re unable to provide details to the other driver.

9. Calling for a tow truck

You have the right to decide which tow truck to use and where your vehicle will be towed.

10. Check your Insurance coverage

In NSW, insurance options include:

Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance: This is mandatory and is included in your car registration cost (except for in New South Wales, where you buy it separately).

Third Party Property Insurance: Covers damage to other’s property in accidents you cause.

Third Party Property, Fire, and Theft Insurance: Covers property damage and theft/fire damage to your vehicle.

Comprehensive Insurance: Offers the highest level of coverage, including repairs to your vehicle and others’ vehicles, theft, fire, and more.

Comprehensive insurance policies typically include coverage for towing costs following an accident. A brief conversation with your insurance provider will clarify the extent of your coverage and determine if towing expenses are covered.

Need a tow? Call Adams Towing!

If you’ve been in a car accident on the Central Coast and need an emergency tow truck, Adams Towing offers 24/7 emergency towing and is here to to assist you.

Contact us today and feel safe knowing help is just a call away.

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Adams Towing is conveniently located in West Gosford on the Central Coast. All our tow trucks operate from this facility. We have been servicing Central Coast Residents for over 50 years since 1964, providing quality towing services they can trust.