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PIC. 25. AN ACCIDENT SCENE ON MILLENNIUM PARK ROAD IN ABUJA ON TUESDAY (27/1/13).

What To Do In The Event Of An Accident

No one prays for an accident but it’s important to be prepared in case if you are involved in one. Accidents are always stressful events, no matter how serious the results. With adrenaline pumping through you, it can be difficult to process what exactly happened during the accident and what to do when the dust has settled. As such, it is extremely important to know how to handle the situation before it occurs.

Immediate Action

While the steps you take generally depend on the severity of damage, the most important thing you can do after an accident is try your best to stay calm. Panic can make a bad situation worse. If need be, take a few deep breaths before assessing the situation. If anyone is seriously hurt, call for help immediately; this is one of those times when seconds can matter.

Even if no one is injured, call for the police – especially if there is significant damage to the car or cars involved. This is important because the police can help to mediate the situation and control the traffic if the cars are unsafe to move.

If the accident occurred on the inter-state highway, the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) will almost always be on the scene. Their presence will help to control the traffic and put safety caution on the road.

If no one is injured, you can consider moving all cars involved to a safe area away from traffic. If the cars cannot be moved, it is advisable to turn on your hazard lights and set up cones or a reflective triangle to keep oncoming drivers to be aware of the situation. This is very important for the safety of everyone involved.

You’ll want to exchange information with the other driver at this point. The more information you get from them, the better, including their name, phone number, address, insurance company, policy number, driver’s license number and license plate number. If the owner of the car was not driving, get information for the owner as well as the person who was behind the wheel. The police will always assist in this case.

In Nigeria, an on-board camera is relatively new but it can be very handy at this time because it will record the occurrence of the accident; this will serve as a form of evidence.  On the other hand, we can make use of what we have available, the closest camera is on your cell phone, but if your phone doesn’t have one or takes poor pictures, keep a disposable camera in your glove box. Taking pictures of the accident site, damage and even insurance information will help process the insurance claim. If there were any witnesses around, get their contact information and a recorded statement.

Accident Report And Insurance Claim

If a police officer is on the scene, he will write up an official accident report for you. If not, you’ll need to apply for an accident report. If you’ve taken pictures of the accident scene attach it to your application, this should be a straightforward process.

The Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) will also need to access the accident scene and conduct their investigation, their findings will be in a report issued by their office. The VIO report is important in many cases—-Not only will the police and insurance company need it, it maybe submitted in the court if the case goes to trial. If the accident occurred on the inter-state highway, the FRSC may help with a report.

Needless to say, the sooner you report the accident, the faster the whole process will be finished. Be truthful and as detailed about the accident as possible. It also helps to know the extent of your car insurance coverage before getting into an accident in the first place, so you’re not blindsided by the repair estimates.

A comprehensive car insurance always gives you a 360 degrees coverage both for you and other party involved in the accident. Third party insurance always almost comes with vehicle registration; This covers on the other party involved in the accident but not you. In case you don’t have any proper coverage, you can get the best insurance deal HERE

Automobile accidents are unfortunate but are also a nearly inevitable part of driving a car, and they generally add more stress to your already busy life. Being prepared for the worst can make the process easier, ensuring that you get back to the things that matter as quickly as you can.

Please share your thoughts with others, drop a comment.

About Nonso Okafor

I've worked as a technical support representative in major auto centers in Nigeria for more than twenty years. I have dealt with a variety of problems in my capacity as a customer service representative and auto diagnostics expert. I'm committed to assisting people in properly maintaining their automobiles and in appreciating this magnificent innovation known as an automobile.

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