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Simon Best's blog: 4th August 2014: What to do following an accident

Date: 05 August 2014

Simon Best is chief executive of the IAM

The reality is nobody wants to think about having a car accident. It's not a nice thought, but it's important to be prepared in case you are involved in one. In moments of panic, it's quite easy to get caught up in state. But knowing what you must do and taking simple precautions can make things easier afterwards.

If you do find yourself in this position, think about the following:

If you have the option, stop where it is safe.

If it's appropriate, turn the engine off and put your hazard lights on.

The initial feeling after an accident can leave you feeling in a state of panic and worry. Make sure you take a couple of minutes to gather your thoughts before you begin to deal with exchanging insurance details.

Keep yourself safe and check that any other passengers involved are safe and well too.

Stay calm. You will need to swap some details with the other driver(s). Unless that isn't possible because of injury or because they drive off. If you don't, you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours.

Be sure to exchange details. Give your name address, and registration number and the name and address of the owner of the vehicle. You should get these details from the other driver(s).

If someone is injured, ensure you exchange insurance details.

Tell your insurers.  Report the incident to your insurance company as soon as you can.

Photographic evidence.  Get any witness contact details and take photos of the scene and vehicle damage. This may come in use later on when dealing you're your insurers.

Make sure you note carefully how many people are in the other vehicle(s) involved.