What to do when you have a car accident – Australia

When we spend so much time on the road, it’s easy to forget that driving a car is fundamentally dangerous, and that car accidents are incredibly common. Tens of thousands of people will be involved in an accident every year. So – do you know what to do when you have a car accident in Australia? 

We’ve got you covered. Here’s what to do if you have a car accident, from keeping the crash site safe until help arrives to if or when you have to report the accident to NSW police.

Car accident statistics – 2020

Car accidents are a leading cause of death in Australia, injuring tens of thousands of people and claiming almost 1,200 lives every year

  • Young men between 17 and 25 years old make up 73% of all car accident fatalities in Australia
  • Annual car accident fatalities have decreased by 60% in the past 30 years, despite a 24% increase in the amount of cars on the road
  • With the largest percentage of Australia’s population and the largest number of cars on the road, NSW has the largest number of accidents and fatalities

And that’s just the human impact – an accident also damages the cars involved and means someone (or hopefully, someone’s insurance) will need to pay for repairs.

What to do when you have a car accident in NSW

While we all hope we’ll never need to know this, the fact is that most people will experience at least a minor accident like a prang in our lifetime. 

So, here’s what to do if you have a car accident, according to Transport for NSW.

Stop and help

First thing’s first: stop immediately and offer as much help as you can to anyone else involved in the crash. Switch off your car and put the hazard lights on.

Protect the area

It’s important to secure the area around the accident so that another one doesn’t occur. Remove anything that fell off the vehicle(s) involved, such as debris or broken glass, as long as it’s safe to do so. 

Assess damage and/or injuries and call police where appropriate

If anyone is injured or killed in the accident, call the NSW police immediately. 

Exchange details with other driver(s) affectedwhat to do if you have a car accident australia - exchange details with other drivers

Regardless of the damage, if you are asked to provide details to the other driver involved, you must do so. This includes:

  • Your name, address and driver’s licence details
  • Your vehicle registration number
  • The name and address of the car’s owner, if that is not you

Report car accident to Police NSW

Police don’t need to attend when you have a minor car accident, but you must call them to report the accident if either car needs to be towed or if anyone is killed or injured. 

Police may also attend a car accident scene if any animals or property are damaged, if another person doesn’t stop or provide details, or if a driver is believed to be intoxicated with drugs or alcohol.

More information is available from Transport NSW.

Remember to stay safe and stay focused on the roads this Christmas!

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