Car accidents in Nigeria are a daily occurrence, but knowing what to do when you're face to face with one is a different ball game. Whether the accident is just a mere collision or a fatal one, it's wise that you don't act in a way that escalates events at the scene negatively. Many drivers either start fighting with each other or cause a traffic jam as a form of protest. But here at Naijauto, we expect you to act in an orderly manner. That's why we're bringing you Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) answered by our in-house experts.
Examine yourself once you get out of an accident
1. What do I do immediately I am involved in an accident?
First of all, examine yourself to ensure that you don't have any bruises or broken bones. Also, check if your seat belt is still intact. Unlock it and get down from the vehicle to examine the extent of the damage. However, if it is a serious accident where you need to get out fast, remove the headrest of your seat (most are detachable), use it to break the windshield and jump out. Buses usually have emergency exits, use it if that's the vehicle you're in.
2. Who do I call first after an accident occurs?
First of all call for help from passers-by, especially if it's a serious accident. But if not, call the police or the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on 122 or 07002255372. They help in maintaining the orderly movement of people and vehicles in and around the scene.
3. How do I gather enough evidence if I'm in the right of way?
Take pictures of the collision. Due to the sudden influx of people to the scene, it's usually difficult to do this. But endeavor to, as that will help you claim compensation for damages when the time comes. You can also get eyewitnesses to corroborate your story when the police and FRSC personnel arrive at the scene. Do not get into a war of words or a physical altercation with the offender or people coming to take advantage of vulnerable people at the scene.
>>> Here are some great content you might be interested in
4. How do I get my car fixed?
This is actually why every car owner should endeavor to renew their car insurance as often as possible. In cases like this, the insurance service provider handles the repairs and could replace the car if it's a write-off and you follow through the necessary processes. If it involves a collision, find out from the other driver if he's covered by insurance. Exchange insurance details and move on. In the case of a hit and run, try to get plate number details. Do you know how to decode a Nigerian plate number?
5. What if I was at fault?
Well, quick advice, never admit to being at fault. Stay silent till the police and necessary personnel get to the scene. It's their job to resolve the issue. This doesn't mean you should lie. But you won't want your words to be used against you in case there's a damage claim.
6. What do I do if I'm hurt and there's nobody to look after my car?
A popular slogan of the FRSC is "safety first". You need to seek medical attention before thinking about the vehicle. Only when you're fit, can you drive. So walk away from the scene and get the necessary assistance or care.
Finally, make sure you remove all documents and valuables from your car if you need to leave it at the scene for a period of time. Also, beware of pickpockets and louts at the scene. Nobody hopes to be involved in an accident, so good defensive driving techniques are the first resort when driving especially in crowded cities like Lagos. However, in case all fails, these answers will help guide you - peradventure you ever have one.
>>> Read more about road usage and safe driving right here on Naijauto.com