Even if you do not think you are injured and your vehicle may still drive, it is important to remain at the scene after you have been involved in an accident, regardless of how serious the incident was. If the road accident involves other road users, ensure you have received all their relevant details as mentioned below.
You also need to notify the Gardai as soon as you can after an incident. If you leave the scene before exchanging all relevant information such as Registration numbers, Insurance information and all relevant personal details, you could be charged for ‘leaving the scene of an accident’.
It is important that you record the details of what happened and any photographs or videos of the incident scene if you can. It is useful to photograph the insurance disc on car windscreens along with the damage to all vehicles involved.
Take note of the names and addresses and contact numbers of any witnesses to the accident
If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately after the incident.
Especially if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Any numbness or tingling in the body
- Pain in the neck or back
- Stiffness in any part of your body
- Dizziness or nausea
It is important to visit a medical professional as soon as possible when experiencing any pain or discomfort. Many people do not feel the need to seek medical attention as they are not in any immediate pain. Unfortunately, many injuries do not present themselves immediately. Therefore you need to monitor your symptoms carefully. Whiplash is often experienced after a road traffic accident, it may not present itself immediately after, but you may feel the pain in your neck and back the following day(s).
Whether you can drive your vehicle away from the place of the incident, depends on if the vehicle is roadworthy and of course your medical condition.
If you are unsure of whether it is safe to drive your car away from the scene after an accident, here are a few steps to help you determine whether you can drive your vehicle or not.
Here is a checklist for making sure your vehicle is safe to drive:
- Leaking fluid: If your car is leaking fluid, it can damage the transmission. It is not recommended to drive your car if this happens.
- Wheel aligned: are all your wheels pointing in the correct direction?, if not, your vehicle should not be driven.
- Airbags: If the airbags deployed, you should not drive your car, call a tow.
- Headlights/mirrors: If any of your headlights or mirrors are damaged you should call a tow, as the car is unsafe to drive
If you have doubts regarding whether your vehicle is roadworthy or not, you should not drive your car. Seeking the advice of a qualified mechanic about the condition of your vehicle following any accident is always advisable!