According to the International Transport Forum, around 273,000 people across the world die from auto accidents involving drivers under the influence of alcohol every year; and that is not even taking the number of fatalities caused by drivers under the influence of drugs into account.
And sadly, many more are injured in road accidents involving drivers under the influence. Even if you are an incredibly safe driver, you could one day find yourself in such an accident, in which case, you should be prepared by knowing what to do.
Here are five steps to take.
Call Emergency Services
If you are not noticeably injured and can move, you should get out of your vehicle and move to safety. You should also check your passengers and the driver and passengers in the other car to see if anyone is badly injured. If they are, you need to call emergency services for an ambulance.
You should also call the police. Even if the accident is minor, it is best to report it to the police immediately. If you suspect the driver who caused the accident is drunk or under the influence of drugs, you should inform emergency services when you call them, as it could affect their response.
If you suspect the other driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is important that you remain calm.
That may be easier said than done, as you may be feeling angry and confused after being involved in a crash that was not your fault. However, if you do not remember to stay calm, the situation could exacerbate.
Someone who is drunk or under the influence of drugs is likely to become agitated, distressed, or even violent. So, approach the driver cautiously when you ask the driver for his or her driver’s licence and insurance details.
Make Notes And Take Photos
Next, record the driver’s licence plate number and the car’s make and model.
Furthermore, it is a good idea to note down anything that indicates the driver is drunk or under the influence of drugs, as having that information can be invaluable later on if you need to pursue a claim for compensation.
Write down things like the driver’s demeanour and whether you smell alcohol on the driver’s breath or notice any empty bottles or medication packets in the car.
You should also take photographs of the accident scene, including close-ups of the damage on either car.
Give A Detailed Statement To The Police
When the police arrive, they will take your statement.
At this stage, you should ensure that you tell the police that you suspect the other driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The police can then perform tests, like breathalyser tests, to determine whether the driver is indeed drunk or on drugs.
If you need to pursue an insurance or legal claim later, proving that the driver was under the influence can hugely increase your chances of obtaining the maximum compensation.
Check out this insightful post to learn more about how to pursue your car accident claims.
Get Medical Attention
If an ambulance has not been called, make sure you go to an accident and emergency department at a hospital as soon as you leave the scene of the accident.
Even if you do not think you have any injuries, or if you only have minor injuries, it is important you get checked out by a healthcare professional as it is possible that you have internal injuries or a health problem in which the symptoms will develop later on. Also, look after your mental health after a car accident. It can take time to feel back to normal, so take active steps to reduce your daily stress.