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What To Do After a Traffic Collision Part Two: Your Questions Answered

What To Do After a Traffic Collision Part Two: Your Questions Answered

Nobody wants to contemplate being in a car crash, or the implications of a collision, but by preparing yourself in some way, you can help to protect yourself if the worst does happen. Last week we looked at what you should do in the moments immediately following a crash. This week, we will answer some of the most common questions, namely:

  1. No damage was done, can I drive away?
  2. If I say sorry, am I accepting the blame?
  3. If I go into the back of someone is it definitely my fault?
  4. Do I have to call the police?

Although we bumped, there is no obvious damage. Am I OK to drive away?

In short, no! The Road Traffic Act (RTA) states that any driver involved in a collision has to stop, regardless of who is involved and who is to blame. If you don’t stop, then you could receive a fine, or even up to 6 months in prison. If you are sure no damage has been done, stop, exchange details (or leave a note on a windscreen if you bumped into a stationary car and you can’t find the owner), and take plenty of pictures to show the lack of damage.

If I say sorry, does that mean that I have accepted the blame?

While it is not necessarily a great idea to get out of your car and start apologising straight away (there are plenty of unscrupulous people who will take advantage of that kind of weakness), saying that you are sorry doesn’t mean that you legally accept the blame. If your innate Englishness means that a stream of apologies is the first thing to come out of your mouth, don’t write the situation off. Check that everyone involved is OK, exchange details, and let your insurance companies do the rest.

Is it my fault if I go into the back of someone?

The Highway code specifies that you have to leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front so that you can slow down if they suddenly slow down or stop. This, in loose terms, is what the 2-second rule is about: leaving a two (or, in wet or icy conditions, four)-second gap between you and the car in front should give you enough time to stop. If you go into the back of someone else, then you have not given enough space to stop. Because of this, it is very unlikely that an insurance company will make a decision in your favour if you go into the back of someone else.

Do I have to call the police?

If anyone is injured or if the road is blocked, call 999. If nobody is injured, you still need to let the police know about the incident within 24 hours of it occurring. You can pop into your local police station or call 101.

Being in a collision is unpleasant for all involved, and that inconvenience extends beyond the crash itself. After the crash, there is admin to take care of. Follow Trust A Garage on Facebook or X for next week’s blog.

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