car accident what to do who to call

Recently in a collision? If your car has been in a minor fender bender and you found yourself unsure who to call – you’re not alone! Post-crash, the most common response we see is car owners and drivers connecting with emergency services; and, at times, this is absolutely the right thing to do. But what if you’ve only sustained minor damage and there are no injuries to report?

Read on below to review the suggestions Combined Towing recommends taking if your car has only sustained minor scratches. Instead of waiting for the police to arrive or calling out the whole fire brigade, a tow truck service might be one of the only service providers you need to call. Not sure how? Read on to learn more about post-collision protocol below.

Roadside Support, Tow Trucks, or Emergency Services?

Who you gonna call? Tow truckers. We know that’s a terrible pun, however, often we see post-collision drivers calling for emergency services, the police, and triple 000 as soon as they’ve had a scuff.

While we absolutely agree this is the right port of call if you or someone else has sustained an injury, there has been a major collision, or what looks like significant damage, there are times when a small fender bender doesn’t warrant the police. How to spot the difference?

  1. Stop. Assess the situation and consider if your car or others were involved the crash. Further still – stopping is a legal requirement in Australia. Failing to stop after a collision (even small ones!) can result in a fine or jail time.
  2. Your Car is the Only One. Have you backed into a telephone pole? Perhaps your tire rim came too close to the curb. If your car is the only one that has sustained damage – and there are no visible injuries or physical safety concerns, chances are the police don’t need to be called.
  3. There is no concern for your safety or those around you. Smell smoke? See a small fire? These are absolutely emergencies that warrant being inspected and dealt with by emergency services. See no concerns for your own safety, another driver, or those nearby? Chances are a rear-ended fender bender that was approached at low speed doesn’t warrant a call to triple 000.

If you don’t call the police, who should you call in the event of a minor collision? We suggest:

  1. Always stop. We said it before and we’ll say it again, you must stop your car and assess the situation–no matter how minor the crash.
  2. Turn off your ignition. To prevent potential damage and minimise the risk of spark or fire.
  3. Turn on your hazard lights: To warn other motorists of the situation.
  4. Check for hazardous items on the road: If it’s safe to do so. This could include debris from your own vehicle or something that was lying on the road pre-crash.
  5. Exchange details with any other parties involved: Including – name, address, license number, phone number, vehicle make and model, and car registration.
  6. Take photos: Of the accident scene and any damage sustained – this is especially important if you end up making an insurance claim.
  7. Call for support: This may or may not warrant emergency services. If someone is injured, seems to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fails to stop, refuses to exchange details, or if there is a blockage on the road, emergency services can support these situations. No injuries, significant damage, or road concerns? A tow truck may be all you need.
  8. Decide where you want your vehicle to be taken: You have the right to choose where your vehicle is taken in NSW. A licensed tow truck will always have four-digit number plates with TT at the end (1234-TT) in the state of New South Wales, meaning you can track where your car is deposited after the event. (Further – a licensed truck and driver will give you a Towing Authority form to complete detailing where the vehicle will be towed.)
  9. If you are unsure where to take the vehicle for repairs or assessment, it is recommended to return to the towing facility and work with the service team to decide on the next course of action.

While Combined Towing has helped transport cars and equipment Australia-wide, these post-collision recommendations are applicable to the state of NSW alone.

Getting Support and Back on the Road After a Car Accident

From minor run-ins to major, multi-car collisions, Combined Towing has supported private drivers and commercial business owners through every type of event. With the team and trucks needed to help you through a tough spot, we can have your car and equipment removed and to the right service providers to get you back on the road.

Need support post-collision? Contact our friendly team by phone or online for a quick quote and service booking today.