Whether you own a car or are on a car rental in Singapore, it is understandable for emotions to be high-strung during the aftermath of an accident. Certainly, no one goes on a car ride with the expectation that they would meet into an accident because, well, out of sight; out of mind. That’s why it is crucial to be aware of what to do in a car accident beforehand so that we stay calm and do the right thing should the unfortunate situation arise.
These are some guidelines you can abide by.
1. SAFETY SHOULD BE YOUR TOP PRIORITY!
Look out for the safety of you and your passengers. As much as possible, ensure that you are in a safe area, away from oncoming traffic before commencing the next few steps. Ensure that no one is placed in a precarious, life-threatening situation. Look out for anything that would impair your safety. Leaking oil pipes may be one example.
2. INFORM THE RELEVANT AUTHORITIES.
Should there be any casualties, call the ambulance at 995 immediately.
It is not necessary to inform the police for every traffic accident. With that being said, it is mandated that we call the police at 999 should the accident involve:
- Pedestrians or Cyclists
- Hit-and-run cases
- Damage to government property
- Foreign vehicles
- Injuries where the victims had to be taken to the hospital.
3. GATHER ALL EVIDENCE.
Take detailed photos of the accident scene, including:
- Photos of all vehicles involved and its surrounding areas like lane and road signs and extent of damage like skid marks and surrounding debris.
- Pay attention to the time, date and location of the accident.
- Take photos of damages to one’s own vehicle.
- Capture photos of all other vehicles involved. If possible, one should include the licence plate, make and model of all vehicles involved. For multiple car collisions, photos where vehicles are in direct contact of each other should be taken.
Be especially attentive to take various shots of the evidence. This gives the authorities more contexts so that they would then be better equipped to evaluate the accident and make the necessary decision calls. The more evidence, the better. Videoing the site could also capture the scene in a more holistic format that could paint a more accurate story of the chain of events. You may not know when and how these evidence may come in handy.
While doing so, it is crucial to refrain from moving the vehicle from the accident spot. This may give insurers certain doubts when one files for claims. Even though it may cause some congestion, it is essential to take evidence as quickly as safely possible and only move your vehicle to a road shoulder once all these have been collected.
4. TAKE DOWN ALL INFORMATION.
For the drivers, other parties, such as passengers, pedestrians or witnesses involved, a list of the basic information to be captured is as followed:
- Full name
- IC number of drivers involved
- Mobile numbers
- Home address
- Insurer details
NOTE: DO NOT sign any agreement with the respective drivers or any third party as this could complicate the post-accident processes.
5. CHECK WHETHER THE CAR IS STILL DRIVABLE.
If you are in doubt, there is 24 hour Towing and Roadside Assistance Services available in Singapore. For this service, you may call 6748 9911.
6. SEE A DOCTOR JUST IN CASE. OBTAIN A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE WHEN NECESSARY.
For casualties who have been given more than 3 days of MC, the accident should be reported to the police.
Should you require hospitalisation, a police report can be done once discharged. The report can be done at any Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) or Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP).
7. KEEP A RECORD OF ALL EXPENSES INCURRED POST-ACCIDENT.
These documents may include: medical certificate and bills, transportation bills, vehicle repair costs, loss of income/salary and replacement vehicle rental costs. This would allow you a more seamless claim experience with your respective insurance companies.
8. CONTACT YOUR INSURER.
The Motor Claims Framework provides a comprehensive list of procedures for the report of traffic accidents. Depending on whether you are the victim or the driver responsible for the accident, your insurer would guide you on the different procedures needed to be taken thereafter. Experiencing a traffic accident may be a traumatising experience. Hence, you can feel assured knowing that this could be done within 24 hours, or by the next working day to ensure minimal complications on claims.
9. SEND YOUR CAR FOR REPAIR IN AN AUTHORISED REPAIR WORKSHOP, IF NEEDED.
If you are unsure, ring up your insurer for assistance. Doing so is important as it ensures that the workshop provides the relevant documents that are required for a successful claim.
10. CONTACT YOUR CAR RENTAL COMPANY IF YOUR RENTAL CAR WAS INVOLVED IN THE CAR ACCIDENT.
Other than these general guidelines that you have to conform to, if you are driving a rented vehicle, there are certain rules and regulations set by the car rental company that drivers should take note of.
- Before you leave with your car during the day of rental, make sure that you are aware of the terms and conditions set by the car rental company. This allows you to be more cognizant of what you should do to safeguard yourself and your passengers in the unfortunate event of an accident.
- Whenever it is safe, please contact your car rental service provider and they would send down their operations team to the accident site to assist and advise you immediately.
- While waiting for them to arrive, they would advise you to proceed to collect all relevant evidence as soon as safely possible.
- In general, most procedures would be taken care of by the car rental company as per agreed in the rental contract. The sending of tow trucks, insurance and servicing of rented cars would be tended to by the car rental service provider.
Of course, it is in hopes that you will have a safe journey throughout your rental duration. As always, drivers should comply with the road safety guidelines at all times during commutes. For more information and enquiries, you may approach BizLink Rent-A-Car Pte Ltd’s operation and support team at 6285 6616 and they will be glad to be of service.