How to act in case of traffic accident

The General Directorate of Traffic expected for the months of July and August of this year almost ninety million displacements. With such a high volume of vehicles on the road it is very important that we know what to do in case you suffer an accident or witness one.

During the year 2016 died in Spain 1.160 people in traffic accident and the year 2017 is not very encouraging result. In fact, from January to may of 2017 died by traffic accident in our country 428 people, compared to the 443 that died in the same period of the year 2016. Despite these “good” figures, during the month of June, 2017, died in a traffic accident 116 people versus 93 last year, which reverses the downward trend of this sad indicator.

unfortunately, and saying things a little bit clear, please as an indicator of the low level of education of our country, the fact that the drugs and/or alcohol are behind 40 percent of all fatal accidents produced in Spain. This is a very high number, to which you will have to add those accidents caused by carelessness. You are supposed to, or should I assume, that what you need to do to reduce these figures and we all know; it is something else to carry out. But, How should we act before an accident that has already happened?

To describe our performance before an accident, we must take into account that our position may vary depending on whether we are victims or just witnesses and, above all, the severity of the accident.

How to respond to a minor accident car

In the event that we suffer a minor accident, the first thing that we must maintain the calm and education at all times. In these cases, we’re not going to gain anything putting us as an ogre with the person who has given us the blow even if it is more than clear that it is their fault. It is more, not only we are not going to move on anything, but if we let the language be expressed with too much freedom we can even get in trouble, so be careful with the typical phrases sexist and/or descalificativas and, above all, extremely careful with interfere with any type of physical threat or verbal.

In these cases, without moving the vehicle, the first thing that should be done, without moving the cars, it is to signal correctly the accident and make sure that the rest of the road users are not put at risk. Please remember that, according to the type of pathway, s emergency triangles should be placed at a minimum of fifty meters, and must be visible at least from a distance of a hundred meters. What I want to say with this? Because that is not the support in the car, that is not good for anything, and fifty meters nor are the three steps given with reluctance…

once the area is properly signposted, we see that not there are wounded and that indeed we are in a minor accident, it is wise that we do several photos of all cars involved and of the area in which the accident occurred, paying special attention to the possible signaling, especially if it is a driver has skipped any sign of yield or stop. After the photos and if we see that there is a treatment relatively cordial between the parties involved, is who is to blame, because we can to separate the vehicles so as not to disturb in excess of the rest of the users of the public road and proceed to fill the part friendly.

In the case of accident slight and clear, the best we can do is to fill out the receipt correctly, sign it and leave you with an apology by the guilty and accepting the apology of the part affected. And everything else is like doing theater.

To me the authority!!!

at this point it is very frequent that there is someone to whom the aíres of grandeur prevent you from reasoning sensibly. It is normal to either the injured party, that is to say, who (in strict order) to get off the car, see its damage, look at the contrary, release any patochada and call the competent authority. A very important detail of the arms in jars between the different phases. of course you can call the Guardia Civil, but sometimes it can be a tremendous error that prevent us from realizing some of the details:

  • In the case of a minor accident in which you do not need to lift too crowded, to claim the presence of the Civil Guard forces the displacement of at least one patrol that might as well be prepared, or on reserve for their action in any other place in which it is necessary your participation.
  • If it is claimed the presence of the authority we are lengthening in the time something that in five minutes it could be solved.
  • , If the Guardia Civil stands too crowded, that nobody dream to be able to repair your car at least two months.

Logically, and despite what I just said, if subsequent to the accident we observe a certain tension between the parties involved and/or there is assumption of guilt on the part of those who consider it appropriate, yes that is more than justified to claim the presence of the authorities. In this case, we will call the free phone number 112, and we look forward to come the Civil Guard or, depending on where we are, the different regional police.

There is another course in which I recommend strongly to claim the presence of the authorities and is when once we begin to fill the amicable accident, we have some doubt on the validity of the insurance policy for any of the vehicles involved. In such cases we will avoid to make any value judgment and simply wait for them to arrive the agents of the authority and it is they who determine the validity of the policies.

The basis of this recommendation is given because, as I mentioned in the article about the problems that can lead to circular without insurance, if you a blow a vehicle without insurance policy in force, it will be the Insurance Compensation Consortium, which undertake to indemnify us (in case of minor accident, to repair our vehicle) and as you can imagine, for which the consortium will pay us the damage incurred in an accident in which the perpetrator did not have a policy in force we’re going to need a lot of paperwork, a lot of time and a lot of patience. To avoid all these headaches, the best thing is that it was the Guardia Civil who lift the packed. To us only we will bring the report to our insurance company and expect…

Without sense or sensitivity

it May happen that we have been in a minor accident, that we have correctly filled in the part friendly, that it has been delivered in the office of our insurance, and that within a few days, call us from any department unknown of our insurer to try to sell us something and, of step, to say that the data provided of the insurance to the contrary are false.

it is True that most of the insurance policies signed in our country, which include what insurers sell it as a claim for damages and legal responsibility but, in my opinion, that’s not part of their job. For our part, the best we can do is file a complaint with the competent authority, take advantage of that at the time the claim we have made a few pictures (because we have done it, no?) and get back to wait.

The window indiscreet

Is frequent, not to say usual, for an accident in which has not passed nothing serious, they are already arranging the papers, or the that is already intervening authority, the Spanish tend to slow down to “look at”… what the what? What a mess of irons? Or does anyone expect to see the spirit of the deceased to separate from the body? I never understand the reason of this widespread attitude so Spanish in front of others ‘ misfortunes though it may be the explanation of the success of certain tv networks.

to Slow down to watch an accident in which we do not have plan to collaborate is just as deplorable as dangerous and annoying for several logical reasons:

  • Ralentizamos circulation even further.
  • We are more aware of looking at what has happened to the road.
  • accidents occur under the oversight of the drivers.
  • And above all, we can slow down the arrival of the emergency services.

The height of stupidity is reached when the accident occurred on a route of high capacity with independent roads. In these cases, a traffic accident and generates a jam tremendous on the road in which it was produced, for obvious reasons, but also in the roadway parallel reserved for circulation in the opposite direction. In this latter case it is a jam generated by the proliferation of onlookers who regularly ride at reduced speed for the left lane to have greater “visibility”

In the case of serious traffic accident

In this course is of the utmost importance to the performance of the witnesses. The first thing you should do is to signal properly and make visible the area of the accident to avoid precisely another accident. We must also, within our possibilities, disconnect completely the contact of all the cars involved. Not worth only with the engine is shut off, that also will be stopped after the accident, but we must be sure to cut the power supply.

In the case of a serious accident, it is of vital importance , call 112, and to discuss with greater precision the location of the accident, the number of casualties and/or victims, if you will need to release someone or not… any detail that helps expedite the assistance and rescue of those involved. It is estimated that an improvement in the response times of the emergency services in front of a traffic accident would save Europe some 2,500 lives and reduce the severity of injury in a high percentage.

please, do not forget never that the sequence signal – turn off engine – notify emergency services can save many lives. And also please do not lose your time tweeting before to assure you of a couple of times at least I did.

What NOT to do

In the case of a serious accident is very important do not move the injured or to give them anything to eat or drink.

This is a clear exception that is, when your life is run imminent danger, as the case may be, is declared a fire in one of the vehicles wrecked. In this case we will try to get to the wounded by moving them as little as possible and to be able to be between minimum two persons. Leave it in the ground in a defense position and wait for the emergency services. Also in case of need you can give them to the wounded water and nothing but water.

System automatic call

from 31 march 2018 all new vehicles will incorporate the system of automatic call. This service “e-Call” will notify the 112 in case you have skipped some drivers reporting various parameters such as the speed of the impact, the actual location and the number of passengers. This last detail, the number of passengers, taken from the information received from the fastened seatbelts at the time of the loss. This means that if in a ill-fated vehicle they were travelling to four people but one of them not wearing the seat belt fastened, the call system automatically inform you of “only” three occupants.

yes, that no-one will relax because this system “e-Call” does not remove the duty relief, which remains punishable with fines of up to four years in prison, so that attention to the onlookers who just want to “know”…

Accident due to bad state of the road

most of the traffic accidents are the result of a human error, either by distraction or recklessness. However a road traffic accident can be caused by a bad state of the pathway. In this case, the constitution states very clear that “individuals shall have the right to be indemnified for any injury they suffer in any of its assets or rights, except those of force majeure, provided that the injury is a result of the public services”.

In this sense we can say that in the case of a toll road, the claim must be submitted to the concessionaire, but in the rest of roads, the claim shall be submitted to the Ministry of Development or to the various regional governments, depending on whether the ownership is state or autonomous.

In the case of injury or damage by the poor state of the public road, we have a year to claim and we must be very scrupulous and methodical in all aspects because we know that any formal defect in our claim will be sufficient for us to deny.

The steps to follow are:

  • Claim the presence of the Civil Guard or of the various regional police to raise their crowded.
  • Find the maximum number of tokens possible.
  • Provide all the documentation as possible (invoices, reports, pictures…) from both material damage and/or personal measurements and costs incurred in the repair of such damages.

Accidents due to the negligence of the public authorities

How I mentioned before, the damage arising from force majeure are fully exempt from any compensation either by part of the public administrations as of our own insurance, which often include this course among the small print. With this I mean that, for example, in case of a flood or flood little we can do. Only in the case that the claim to reach levels of the media may be get some kind of help, but should not have any illusions in this regard. If a flood takes us to the car we will buy another and, if in the future, there comes some kind of help or compensation so perfect, but you have to be realistic.

Another thing is, by continuing with the same example, that this flood was produced by negligence of a public administration. It is very common that, even being knowledgeable of the risks that are involved, the autonomous communities and the various local councils do not maintain the cleanliness in the streams of the rivers, and that in addition to allowing their parking lot. Unfortunately it is also common for these areas to be regulated parking (surcharge), and show posters in that it indicates that in case of flood, we do not indemnify them.

For example, for continuing with data objectives, despite the economic boom, many politicians catalans, during the years 2010 and 2011, the Agència Catalana de l’aigua has not carried out maintenance work on the streams of the town of Terrassa for “budgetary reasons” despite the fact that there is a plan of action to develop between the years 2005 and 2010, “with the aim of ensuring their functionality and hydraulic to prevent possible damages in case of heavy rain”. The budget of the entire plan was 230,000 euros, amount laughable if we compare it with the bites of the political class…

What would have happened if this lack of maintenance causes a flood in the town of Terrassa that leaves our car useless? Because in spite of it being a claim of force majeure, the object of the complaint would be precisely the damage caused not by the flood but by the lack of maintenance in the riverbed.

Another practical example may be a mine shaft in the public road by reason of works. If such works are properly marked, we have nothing to do, but if there is no such signaling yes we can file a claim with the appropriate authority.

Nor do we forget the routes of high capacity. For example one of the reasons that argue for the dealerships to charge us the tolls and the different public administrations to promote the use of the highways is precisely the security. What type of security?

Looking for information to do this article I found that the kilometer 53 of the highway AP68 (from Zaragoza to Bilbao if you are paying for 31’to 70 euros toll) has a hazard index that exceeds twelve times the hazard index national turnpike. Another detail is that the kilometer 161 of the AP7 (nine cents toll per km) is the stretch of highway that most victims and accidents recorded across the network of motorways in spain.

And I put these two examples because I travel with some frequency both stretches of highway and I would like to know what the response would come from the public administrations in case of accident in either of these two sections that, even being aware of the special situation of danger, is avoided year after year, any type of performance improvement on the path.

Accident by animals in the road

One of the more serious accidents that can happen on the road, is the defiance of an animal and the last reform of the Road Safety Act makes it very clear that the blame is always going to be the driver. In this regard seems to be that the Spanish legal system considers as normal that driving at 90 kilometers per hour, we find ourselves with a cow of 800 pounds in the middle of the road. And that no one will call hoax, that run over an animal of this weight can be deadly.

In this regard I would like to throw a question to the air in search of some type of reasonable response. It is assumed that a freeway or a highway are fenced and many of them are additionally equipped with surveillance cameras. What, then, is the receipt you see a wild animal in the road so suddenly?

In any case all is not lost. throughout the year 2016 were produced in the Principality of Asturias, an average of three accidents per day per violation of animals. However, in June of 2017 the National Audience, culpó to the Ministry of Development to pay 16,000 euros to three young people who had run over a wild boar in the Cantabrian motorway. Yes, must say that the accident had occurred on the 19th of November 2015, that is, nineteen months before.

there are Also that say that, always according to the Guardia Civil, between 1 January 2015 and 9 June 2016, had been produced in that same area a total of nine accidents with animals and that there was no warning signal. For its part, the Promotion claimed that the danger signal is put into areas that usual, but the court that, I believe, than usual “is a legal term for an indefinite […] that does not set the degree of reiteration of the same”.

In any case, enjoy the holidays, do not forget that you have to go home and now that you know how, in case of an accident, act in a responsible manner.

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