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Important Steps To Take When Facing A Car Accident in the UAE

Car accident protocol in UAE
Automotive

Even though the number of accidents taking place every year in the UAE is declining at a steady pace, it is still a long way from absolute zero. Implementation and subsequent adoption of newer technology have enabled vehicles of today to constantly monitor the road ahead for unprecedented changes but it is still impossible for these machines to detect every single piece of information as well as calculate in the human factor.

Therefore, accidents are quite inevitable and it is important that people know exactly what to do when facing one. This article shall highlight the most important steps that one must take in the wake of an accident and the laws governing them.

Accident Protocols

You must keep in mind that the steps to be taken when facing an emergency are quite different depending on the situation. If you find yourself caught up in an accident, there are certain steps that you should take as mandated by the law. Remember, no traffic accident in the UAE should go unreported, so you should quickly take the following necessary steps to inform the Police while ensuring your own safety as well as the safety of others around you:

    • Panic Attack

    This is one of the most common mistakes that one can make when facing an accident. A panic attack is quite natural given that your body experienced some major upheaval but try to keep yourself calm. Do not panic. Try to assess the situation and look for any major cuts or bruises. If you do not find any,, then try getting out of your car slowly. However, if you do find injury to yourself, then do not try to move. Ask for help from bystanders or try reaching out to the police on your mobile phone.

     A list of numbers that you can call in case of emergencies is listed at the end of this article. Please keep a note of the same saved on your mobile phone. Also, try keeping a physical copy with you as well at all times. 

    • Surveillance

    if you find that you have not sustained any major injuries, then you should assess the situation in order to ascertain the best course of action. Asking yourself the following questions can help you understand the gravity of the situation:

      • What is my car’s present position? Is it blocking other traffic?
      • What are the conditions of the others involved in the accident? Are there any fatalities?
      • What’s the extent of the damage to my vehicle?
      • Is there fire or fuel-leakage?
      • Can I move my vehicle?

    You will see the situation clearing up in your head once you start asking these questions. Now, depending on the situation, you should try asserting the first course of action. There are two ways to go about this – one if you find yourself injured and another if you are not.

    • Immediate Action (If Injured)

    If you find yourself injured, do not try to do anything and slowly but loudly ask for help from bystanders. If there is no one around, then reach for your mobile phone and call for help. Get a good look at your surroundings and watch out for any signs that will tell you your exact position.  You can search for your exact location online if you are not sure about your whereabouts. Time is of the essence so try explaining your condition and exact location as briefly as possible to the person concerned. Once you have called for help, try turning on the emergency lights and wait for help.

    However, if you are in the middle of a freeway or at the end of a turn and you feel that there is further danger from unsuspecting traffic, then you should always try moving yourself to the side of the road.

    • Immediate Action (Not Injured)

    If you find yourself relatively unharmed and able to move then you should assess the situation as discussed in the first point. If there are other injured people in your car, then help them first before moving on to other cars involved in the accident. If there are no other injuries, you should immediately move your car to the side of the street and move away from it.

    Once you confirm that there are no other injuries and that your car is not getting in the way of oncoming traffic, call the police hotline. Explain your situation briefly and provide an exact location to the best of your knowledge. Look for street signs or refer to the internet for improved accuracy. Move at least 15 meters away from your car and wait for the police to show up. 

    • Secondary Concerns

    If you find yourself in collision with another vehicle, then law dictates that both vehicles stop immediately and turn on their hazard lights until the first course of action can be decided. If you see that the other vehicle(s) is trying to flee from the spot, then trying taking down its license plate number. This is important as the police will definitely ask for it.

    However, this is only secondary to your safety and that of others around you. Do not try taking down license plate numbers while putting yourself or others around you in danger.

    • Tertiary Concerns

    Once all the necessities have been taken care of and the police (and/or other emergency services have been contacted), you should take a few pictures of the car. This will come in handy during processing insurance. Once you have taken the pictures, retrieve your driver’s license, car registration card and Emirates ID/Passport from your car glove box and wait patiently for the police to arrive.

    If you find that others involved in the accident are getting restless,  stay calm yourself at all costs while trying to calm them down. Inform them that the police are on the way and that the matter should be resolved in a little while.

    • Official Investigation

    The police will give all the parties involved a fair chance to voice their side of the story, so wait patiently and do not speak out of turn.  Once you are given your chance to speak, explain the situation to the best of your knowledge and provide them with any evidence that you have (like dashcam videos, GoPro videos or static images). This will help them understand the situation better.

  • Once the police have conducted their investigation, they will likely charge the one at fault with a ticket and issue them with a pink police report. They will hand over a green police report to the one who is not at fault. Where injuries are fatal or in case of disputes, the police may refer the accident to the Courts.In case of very minor accidents, if a police patrol is not readily available, the police may ask you to report to the nearest police station. One can also have the   Police App downloaded and if both parties are in agreement they can simply send pictures of the accident with copies of a registration card, driving license and Emirates id along with a brief description of the accident and the party at fault and you get the police report delivered to your mail.
    • Mitigation 

    Once you have the police report in hand, call up your insurance company or the car rental company if the car involved is a rental. Explain the situation to them and wait for them to take the best course of action. Ideally, the insurance company or the rentals will send a pickup truck to the site of the accident. The police also have the towing facility and will arrange it if required. If the damage to your car is only cosmetic, then you will be allowed to drive away. 

    • Unknown damages/no third party

    Now there are situations where an accident occurs but there is no one else involved other than you. Perhaps you backed out a bit too hard and hit the post. Maybe you scraped another vehicle trying to parallel park. These might seem minor violations but the law in the UAE dictates that you should report such occurrences immediately. Call up the police, inform them and let them assess the situation. A few bucks are not worth the trouble if you get caught. In situations where another car hits yours while you are not present (like in parking lots), you should immediately call up the police and inform them about the violation.

    Next, you should look for CCTVs around the area and contact the security in order to get a copy. Ideally, the one who damaged your vehicle would have informed the police but this is not always the case. Once the police arrive, present them with all the evidence you have. If the suspect is identified, then the police will charge all repair costs from them. However, even if the suspect cannot be identified, you can still approach your insurance company with the police report.

    • Onlooker 

    If you happen to witness an accident in front of you, then you should immediately try to help the people involved in the accident. If possible, try to divert all other traffic on the road and draw attention to the ones in distress. Then, after ensuring the safety of the people involved in the accident, you should immediately call the police and inform them about the incident.

  • Try giving them a brief description and an accurate location for a fast response. Do not try moving the car yourself if the damage is significant and try to calm down those in distress until the police arrive. Give them a detailed account of the incident and only leave when the safety of all involved has been assured.These are the basic steps one must take when facing an accident in the streets of the UAE. Keep in mind that the police are quite strict about such incidents, so do not try to flee from the scene in case you find yourself in one.

    Try to calm yourself down and go through the protocols one by one as discussed in this document.  Even if it’s your fault, try remaining calm and apologize politely. Try to help as much as you can, comply with their requirements and you will find yourself driving away from the situation without a hitch. Here is the official statement from the government of the UAE regarding steps to be taken during accidents.

    Lastly, here is a list of phone numbers that you can call in case of an emergency. We recommend keeping a copy handy at all times.

    Emergency Numbers
    Department Number
    Police 999
    Ambulance 998
    Fire Service 997
    Car Breakdown 800 72233

    Table 1: List of Emergency Services in the UAE

    (Source: Tamm.abudhabi, 2019)

These are the basic tips that one must keep in mind when facing an accident in the UAE. In addition, we also recommend downloading the Carcility app on your mobile phone in order to gain access to the best service and repair garages in your locality. A quick search will provide you with a list of the best garages in your locality depending on your requirements. It also provides you with customer reviews and direct quotes from the garages so that you can make an informed decision.

Lastly, Carcility also provides real-time updates regarding the work being done on your car so that you can understand exactly what is being done to your vehicle and the time you can expect it fixed. Carcility is a one-stop car service, maintenance, and repair app that is revolutionizing the scene in the UAE. Click here to download the app now!

 

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