What to do in a Road Traffic Accident

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What to do in a Road Traffic Accident

You’re minding your own business and then BANG!!  Road traffic accident (RTA) – don’t worry I’m fine and there was no one seriously injured. I was recently rear ended in a 4 car collision (low impact), so I just wanted to give you an idea of what to do following an accident. I think there were about 12 people involved in this accident and I was the lead car… So this is just my experience of what happened and every situation is different. At Compass Physio in Castlecomer and Tullyallen we see all sorts of injuries following RTAs such as back pain, whiplash, headaches etc. 

1/ Check if everyone is ok, starting with yourself!  So when I initially realised what had happened, I was fine and able to get out of my car/van without any issues. Low impact to my rear bumper and boot door, it was more a shock than anything else. I could see that there were 3 other cars involved, so I went along to check that everyone was ok. I put my hazard lights on and insured the last car involved had their hazard lights on. A lot of accidents can happen after an initial accident so safety is a real key point here. 

2/ Who to call: Depending on how bad the accident is and how many cars are involved it’s difficult to say you need to call xyz. Garda generally don’t want the hassle of dealing with this type of situation, but because of the number of vehicles involved they were called. Along with the ambulance as some of the passengers had some minor issues.

3/ Documents Ready: I admit my van is not the tidiest place in the word with receipts and food wrappers everywhere. This drives my wife mental…. ha ha. So when the Garda came to assess the situation I was the lead car and had to give the first statement. She asked for my insurance cert and I couldn’t find it. So now I have to produce it at the nearest Garda station. Hassle!

4/ Ensure you have everyone’s details: This is where the use of a smart phone comes into play, it’s very easy to take pictures of all the number plates, driving licenses, insurance certs (if you can find it). Once you have all the details and it’s obvious who was at fault ring, your insurance company as soon as possible. From the scene of the accident if possible.

5/ Stay calm: The most important thing to remember is that once no one is seriously hurt, cars can be replaced, lives cannot. If you do feel like you have an ache or strain the following couple of days, get it assessed by a Chartered Physiotherapist, you don’t need a GP referral to see your Physiotherapist. Some basic advice and exercises early on can help prevent lasting issues with your injury, so don’t wait for your insurance to cover the cost. At Compass Physio we can give you receipts of all treatments and advice so you can claim it back further down the line

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Colin Phillips MISCP
Chartered Physiotherapist
Compass Physio