Australia is a wonderful country to visit.
Home to 10,000 beaches, world-class cities like Sydney and Melbourne, the biggest rock in the world (Mount Augustus, not Uluru!), the magnificent Kakadu National Park, and the world heritage Great Barrier Reef, there is a lot of country to see across its 7.688 million km².
Given its massive size, Australia is a country you should try to explore by car, as there is nothing like the comfort and flexibility of being able to transport yourself around at your own pace.
However, if you do hire a car in Australia, then there is the potential of course for you to be involved in an accident.
Should you find yourself in this situation, here is what you should do.
What to do in the aftermath of an accident
Whilst on holiday in Australia, being involved in a car accident, especially a serious one, can be a scary, confusing and intimidating experience.
If this does happen to you, it is important to remain calm and try not to get too distraught.
Instead, the first thing you should do in the immediate aftermath of the accident is to stop the car and put on your hazard lights.
Next, check to see if anyone requires urgent medical attention. If they do, call 000 for an ambulance immediately and reassure them that help is coming.
Avoid standing near the car accident. Instead, make your way to a safe spot on the pavement, or somewhere else by the roadside, well away from oncoming traffic.
If possible, take videos or photos of the crash scene, as this puts context into specific details of the accident. This includes the exact location of where it took place, the extent of the damage to all vehicles, the degree to which traffic is being blocked and nearby traffic signs like speed limits.
You will also need to swap personal details with the other driver(s).
When doing this, do not under any circumstance admit liability, as this can count against you later, if you attempt to make a compensation claim.
Be sure to record their full name(s) and mobile phone number(s) and consider verifying by texting them your details on the spot. Also record their car make, model and registration number too.
Once you have swapped details with the other driver, they are free to leave the scene.
At this point, you should call the car hire company to let them know of the accident. They will advise of the next steps you should take.
(As a side note – when hiring a vehicle, be sure to get full insurance cover which means you will not be liable for any costs in the case of an accident).
If you are driving a friend or relative’s car, it is worth calling them too, as they will be able to contact their roadside assistance provider.
Should you not be able to reach them, and you feel the car is not safe to drive, you should contact a tow truck company, who will tow you to a location of your choice. Be sure to get a quote prior to engaging their service.
If the vehicle needs it, you can arrange car scratch repair with DingGo as well.
What to do if someone is injured in the crash?
Any car accident that has resulted in significant, or serious injury, which results in broken bones or spending a night in hospital must be reported to the local police.
This should be done no later than 24 hours from the time of the crash.
What if I need medical assistance?
Australia has first-class medical facilities which fall under their universal health scheme – Medicare.
Should you require medical attention, their public hospitals provide a very good standard of care for those who need it.
If you have travel insurance (which is highly recommended), your medical care bills should be covered by it. If not, you will need to pay for it, which could cost you a lot of money.
Reciprocal Health Care Agreement
Australia has set up a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RCHA) with several countries.
This agreement covers the cost of limited medical care for citizens of these countries that require it whilst in Australia.
Under the scheme, they may be entitled to basic and emergency treatment under certain conditions. However, services like ambulance, dentistry and private hospital costs are not covered.
The countries involved in the agreement are Belgium, England, Finland, Italy, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Slovenia and Sweden.
To find out more details you can refer to the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement.
If you have been involved in a car accident, especially in a foreign country it can be a confusing, emotional and confronting experience.
However, if you can keep calm and take heed of the steps we’ve outlined above, you should find the situation a lot easier to handle.