Driving

What to do if you get into an accident while driving?

Photo credit: Mark Leo
Photo credit: Mark Leo

Everyone can do all the right things and be the safest driver on the planet. But let’s face it, accidents happen when you least expect them, be it in the bustling melting pot of Kuala Lumpur or the rural solitude of the outskirts. So, when you are in a jam, the following tips will help you keep the already tense situation at bay.

Peter Fong, a dealer of new and used vehicles at City Motors in Bangsar, has served the expat community for over 30 years. He understands the stress of a car accident and offers the following tips that can help you reduce the inevitable tension.

If you are injured

Stay calm and don’t panic. Check how serious the injuries are as your life is more important. If you need medical assistance, call 991 for the ambulance.

If you are not injured

  • If the accident is in a dangerous spot, go to a safe place nearby with or without the car. Maintain your composure and avoid any arguments.
  • Note down the names, addresses,telephone numbers and insurers of the other parties involved in the accident and offer yours as well.
  • Note down the car registration numbers, make, model and colour of the other vehicles involved. Even better would be to use your hand phone camera to take a picture. Note the time.
  • Do not negotiate to offer compensation to the third party and do not admit liability (verbal or written) as it will jeopardise your rights under the insurance policy.
  • Do not allow any unauthorised tow truck driver to tow your vehicle (there will be many of them coming from all directions within minutes of the accident). Also, keep a list of reliable auto workshops available.
Car being towed | Photo credit: Jason Thien
Car being towed | Photo credit: Jason Thien
  • Do not sign any documents requested by anybody except an authorised tow truck company specifically appointed by your insurance company. This, however, should be verified. Call the 24-hour auto-assist hotline of your insurance company (a sticker should be on your windscreen or register the number on your mobile phone).
  • If your car is not driveable, request that it be towed to the police station designated, from the accident report according to your respective area.
    Note: For KL, it is the Jalan Bandar police station near Petaling Street and for Petaling Jaya (PJ), it is in Section 8 near PJ Hilton).
  • After making the police report, request that your car be towed to an authorised workshop of your insurance company or franchise holder of the car model (for example, if you have a Toyota, it’s Toyota UMW Service Centre).
  • By law, the police report must be made within 24 hours of the accident. You will need to provide copies of your driving license, passport, vehicle registration card and insurance policy.
  • After the report is made, contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

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