Staying calm after an accident

Car crash behaviour

Staying calm after a car accident is easier said than done. People experience a range of emotions – from deathly calm to all out hysterics. If you are unfortunate enough to be in an accident, losing your temper is not the solution. Trust us, shouting “Yes it’s a threat!” is something you will later come to regret.

And as this woman learned, the advances of modern technology will never let you (or the rest of the world) forget it.

So while no one likes to think about accidents, they do happen. Being prepared is the best way to avoid situations like this, where someone has failed to stay calm following an accident.

What are the benefits of staying calm?

Remaining calm and knowing what to do after a collision will benefit you in the long run. Firstly, it will allow you to accurately remember the events surrounding the accident. This will help if you choose to make a claim for compensation later on. Secondly, it will prevent you from jumping to conclusions. This will avoid making any rash statements – like partly admitting to liability, which might affect your compensation claim. Finally, and most importantly, it will allow you to assist anyone who may need medical attention. The calmer you are, the faster your response time will be.

How to remain calm

There are no hard and fast rules to staying calm, it’s easy to get caught up in a state of panic. But it’s worthwhile taking a minute to gather your thoughts. While your first instinct may be to lose control, this is of little use to you or anyone else. So what’s the best thing to do? Take some deep breaths and count to ten.

What next?

The most important thing is to check if you or anyone else involved in the accident has been injured. If they have, contact the emergency services straight away.

Regardless of whether you have any visible injuries, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Some injuries can be more serious than they first appear, particularly head and neck injuries. Having them checked out immediately can prevent further complications later on.

Being involved in an accident can be overwhelming. Follow the STAY CALM steps to keep you on the right track when dealing with an accident.

Seek medical attention if anyone is injured

Try to move to a safe location

Alert the police

Your camera phone can be used to take photographic evidence

Compile a list of contact information

Avoid admitting liability even if you believe you are partly at fault

Losses and damages should be noted

Make sure to contact an experienced personal injury solicitor

It’s the law

Remember, under the Road Traffic Act you and the person you have collided with are legally obliged to exchange

  • Names and addresses
  • Names and addresses of the owners of the cars
  • Registration numbers of the cars

If you are having difficulty obtaining this information contact the police who will be happy to help you.

Beneficial information

Gathering evidence at the scene of an accident, if possible, is useful. Evidence is needed to attribute blame and is also required to claim for damages and losses. Some good points to note at the time of an accident are the weather conditions and details of any conversations that took place. Remember never accept cash from the other driver and don’t admit to liability. Both will affect your claim for compensation.

Take home message

So while remaining calm after an accident is difficult, the alternative will make things even harder for you. If you remember just one thing following an accident, remember to take deep breaths and count to ten.