Driving a rental car often involves risks, and accidents are one of them. This article will explain what to do in such a situation.
Secure the Scene
It is essential to remain calm in a traffic accident and take the necessary safety measures. You should start by turning on your hazard lights so that other drivers can easily see you to avoid another accident. Then, turn off the engine. Then, place a warning triangle at least 30 meters away from the vehicle. Remember to put on a safety vest before getting out of the car.
If it is an accident due to a traffic violation, it is imperative to report it immediately to the police.
Contact the Emergency Services
If you are carrying passengers, consider whether they are injured. If another car is involved, check on the condition of the driver and passengers. If there are injuries, you should immediately contact the emergency services. Do not try to move them and apply first aid.
Fill In a Report
Once you have secured the scene, you must draw up a report with the other driver involved. Usually, a European accident report is already available in the glove compartment of the rented car. It allows you to note down the circumstances of the accident, particularly the damage and the people involved, so that you can declare it to the insurance company.
However, you have to be careful when writing this report because once signed, it cannot be modified. On the document, you must indicate the date, time, and place of the accident and the information given by the other driver such as his name, the address of his insurer and his driving license.
You should also note the contact information of the people involved. As a precaution, you should also take the contact information of witnesses. Once the report is written, you must sign it. And if you disagree with the other driver, don’t forget to mention it in the “observations” section.
It is also possible to write your report on a smartphone using the “e-constat auto” application that you can download from the PlayStore or the App Store.
Inform the Rental Company of the Accident
All car rental companies leave an emergency phone number for their customers to call in case of an accident.
If you are not responsible, in this case, you do not have to pay anything; the insurance of the responsible driver will take care of the various repairs and compensations.
If you are at fault, it’s imperative to call the provider to inform him of the situation. The provider will take care of the vehicle’s repair and the insurance formalities for the other people involved in the accident.
Generally, rental vehicles are covered by an automobile insurance policy. The insurance covers damage to others. And the rest, including damage to the car, bodily injury, and the deductible in the policy, is your responsibility. But if you’ve purchased additional insurance, you’ll have more coverage. This means that all damage to others and to the car will be covered. In the end, you only have to pay the deductible, in part or in full, depending on the terms of your contract.