Have you seen the news lately? Aside from the constant political bickering prior to the election, our screens are filled with photos and reports of road collisions that add on to the already worsening traffic that plagues our streets. There’s no stopping the thought that maybe staying at home instead of going out to check new restaurant sounds so much better than joining the chaos outside our homes. With the all the devastating news that we see, one starts to wonder if we are equipped with enough knowledge on the proper precautions to take in the event of an accident.
We need to acknowledge the fact that sometimes, accidents occur and even take a turn for the worse because of improperly handling the situation. Panicking and being clueless worsen the situation. In an attempt to lessen the growing number of road accidents we see and hear on the news, here are a few things every law-abiding motorist should know.
1. Always make way for help that’s on the way.
You’d think this would be a simple one but you’d be surprised how many people decide to tail an ambulance on call instead of making way for the vehicle to pass. Keep in mind that the Right of Way rule has exceptions. According to the Land Transportation and Traffic Code (Chapter IV, Article III, Section 43 of Republic Act No. 4136), the right of way rule can be disregarded when police, fire trucks, and ambulances are in the way and operated in the official capacity, which means the signals are on blast. Furthermore, people who are driving other vehicles must drive to and parallel to the right-hand curb of the highway, given that there are no intersection of highways, must stop there until the emergency vehicles have passed. (Article V, Section 49). Chapter IV, Article I, Section 35 of Republic Act No. 4136 also gives exception to the speed limit rules for the following cases among others: When a physician or his driver is to respond to emergency calls; When the driver of a hospital ambulance is on the way to and from the place of accident or other emergency; When a driver is bringing a wounded or sick person for emergency treatment to a hospital, clinic, or any other similar place;
2. When an accident happens…
First and foremost, make sure everyone is safe and be careful not to sustain any further injuries. Check if the car is okay and stationary. Also, make sure that the car’s engine is turned off. Keep your keys safely and do not leave them in the ignition. See if it’s safe to get out of the car. If it is, alight immediately. The driver must show his driver’s license, provide his or her real name and address, and that of the owner of the vehicle, when applicable. A driver may not leave the scene of the accident without facilitating first aid to the victim, as stated in Article V, Section 55 of the same Code, but again, there are exemptions to this rule. If a driver is subject to great danger from anyone, due to the accident, he or she may flee. Another instance when a driver may leave the scene is when he has to report the situation to the nearest police station, MMDA outpost or any officer of the law. Additionally, if a victim is badly hurt, the driver, given that he is in good condition, may also leave the scene of the accident to call for medical aid, like an ambulance, to bring the victim to the nearest hospital. Deploy all reflective early warning devices, such as emergency hazard lights, even park lights, to avoid hassle for other vehicles.
3. Contact your insurance company and ask your policy coverage.
In times like these securing insurance becomes real handy, especially in the case of a major car accident. Once things have been settled and the officers are on the scene, call your insurance provider and let them know of the accident. Also, be aware of your insurance policy coverage. Knowing this beforehand will prevent you from spending more in the case of a premium hike.
4. File an incident report.
A police report can help you in speeding up the insurance claims process. Having these tips in mind lets you keep things in control, even in a situation where you have no control. Remember, having knowledge in what to do when an accident happens saves you from a whole lot of trouble that could stem from the incident.
The author of this article contributed in their own personal capacity. The views expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of COCOGEN Insurance.