Road accidents are simply a fact of life and a risk every driver has to assume.

Over the course of your lifetime, there is a good chance you will be involved in a minor incident of some sort while driving. The important thing to remember is that they happen to the best of us and no one ever gets into these situations deliberately.

Of course, if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, you can rest assured that you’ll be covered for any financial implications from the incident whether you’re at fault or not.

If you ever do find yourself in a car crash, it’s crucial that you know how to handle it properly – here’s the step-by-step guide on what to do.

Keep calm

Your emotions are likely to be highly charged in a road accident of any size, and it’s vital you keep your cool.

Remaining calm and composed will allow you to think coherently and handle the situation appropriately.

Assess the situation

Pull over to a safe spot out of the way of traffic and get out of the vehicle if you are physically able to, making sure your vehicle is in a position that won’t obstruct the flow of traffic.

The first and most important thing to do is to see if anyone is seriously hurt – check both the passengers in your car and those in the other vehicles involved in the accident.

Alert the authorities

Next, you should report the incident to the police – make sure you do this within 24 hours of the crash if someone is injured. Your insurance company many also need the police report to help support your car insurance claim depending on the seriousness of the accident.

If someone is seriously hurt and requires medical attention, you should also call 111 and ask for an ambulance straight away.

Call your insurance provider

The New Zealand Road Code states that you must provide your name, address and vehicle registration to the owner of any property (including the other car) that has been damaged in a crash within 48 hours.

You should also exchange car insurance details with the other party. It’s also important that you don’t admit liability. Once you’ve done this, you can get on the phone with your insurance provider who will guide you through the claims process.