If you have been involved in a car accident in Singapore, it can be a very frightening experience. Knowing what the right steps are to take during such a stressful situation is key to ensure your safety, as well as that of other motorists on the road.
To help you out, this article provides all the necessary information for what to do if such an unfortunate event occurs.
Table of Contents
1. Check for any injuries and ensure everyone’s safety
In the event of an accident in Singapore, the very first action you should take is to stop, turn on your hazard warning lights and check for any injuries. This includes ensuring your own safety, as well as that of your passengers and the occupants of any other vehicles involved in the accident.
If anyone has sustained any injuries, it is vital to call for an ambulance to take them to a hospital for medical treatment. You should also call the police to assist with further steps.
2. Call for assistance
If someone has been seriously injured during the crash, dial 995 for an Emergency Ambulance.
For less serious injuries, call 1777 for a Non-Emergency Ambulance. Do not try to move anyone who is stuck in the wreckage as this could worsen their injury; instead wait for medical help to arrive.
Here is a list of emergency hotlines in Singapore that you should always have on hand:
- Ambulance: 995
- Non-Emergency Ambulance: 1777
- Police: 999
- Police Hotline: 1800 255 0000
- Traffic Police: 6547 0000
- EMAS crew: 1800 2255 582
3. Take pictures/videos of the accident site and damage
Taking pictures and videos of the scene and any damage on both vehicles involved in the accident can be crucial evidence in any dispute with an insurance company or other drivers that might arise.
Make sure to record the accident scene clearly, showing the position and damages of vehicles involved, as well as details such as:
- license plate numbers
- damage to surrounding objects
- information such as date, time and location
- skid marks
- road conditions
If you have a car recording camera installed in your vehicle, be sure to save any relevant footage to help with future liability claims.
However, it is important to backup the clip immediately so that you don’t lose it as dash cams overwrite content after a certain amount of footage has been saved.
If you don’t have a dash-cam, make sure to note down any details of the scene such as the placement of vehicles in relation to one another and any nearby landmarks that could help identify the location.
4. Move to safety
If you are in the middle of an accident, be sure to move your vehicle and any other vehicles to a safe spot after gathering the necessary photographic evidence of the accident as soon as possible if there are no injuries.
In the event of an injury, it is important to remain at the scene and wait for assistance until police have arrived. Do not move any vehicles or individuals who may be injured.
All parties involved should also make sure everyone are safe, and out of harm’s way before they begin processing what has happened.
Be sure to stay calm and cooperative during this time and to avoid confrontations with other drivers.
If a vehicle has been badly damaged such that it cannot be moved anymore, you may need to call for a tow truck for assistance and to use warning items like reflectors or signs to alert other motorists about the accident.
5. Exchange information with everyone involved
Once you and the other drivers involved have exchanged contact information as well as vehicle plate numbers, it is important to keep a record of them. Information gathered should includes:
- NRIC/FIN number
- Home address
- Contact number
- Vehicle registration number
- Name of insurance company
- Company name if the vehicle is company-owned
If there are any other passengers, pedestrians or eyewitnesses present, their contact and relevant information should be gathered for future reference.
This information can be used in case insurance companies need it, or if there are any unresolved matters that might require further investigation down the line.
Ensure that all parties involved have one another’s details so that all of your bases are covered.
6. Report the accident
You are required to make a police report at the nearest police station or through the Police e-Traffic Accident Report service within 24 hours of the accident if the accident involves:
- A foreign car
- Hit and run
- Government vehicles
- Government property damage
- Cyclist or pedestrians
- Injury cases where:
1) at least one person involved in the accident was taken to hospital from the accident scene by an ambulance/ self conveyed; or
2) any party involved in the accident was injured and obtained outpatient medical leave for 3 days or more.
Do note that after filing a Traffic Police report, you are also required to report to your insurer within 24 working hours or by the next working day.
Next contact your car insurance provider and tell them all the details. Ask for their advice on what steps to take next, as they can help walk you through the claims process and arrange a tow to an approved workshop if necessary.
Also, keep in mind that it is required by the General Insurance Association of Singapore to report accidents at an Approved Reporting Centre.
Even if you don’t intend to make a claim, you should inform your insurance provider about the incident in order to be covered should the other party decide to press charges against you.
Accurately recording information related to a car accident is essential in order to document the exact circumstances of the crash. Be sure to jot down the following details:
- location, time/date,
- road conditions
- any comments from witnesses or individuals involved in the crash
Collecting this information will help with insurance claims or litigation should it arise.
Consequences of not informing your car insurance company in time of an accident may include refusal to renew your policy, denial of liability and loss of No-Claim Discount.
7. Send your car to an authorised workshop
If you need to make an insurance claim for your car, it is important to tow your vehicle to an authorised workshop.
Unapproved workshops may try to raise repair costs and this can increase your premiums. Some insurers permit policyholders to take their damaged vehicles to their preferred workshops, so make sure to check with yours before doing so.
Also, be wary of unauthorised tow-truck crews who may show up at the accident site – if the accident happens on an expressway, LTA EMAS crew will tow you to the nearest car park.
What not to do during an accident in Singapore?
In the event of an accident in Singapore, there are a few things you should avoid doing.
- Avoid refusing to share personal information such as your name, contact details and what happened in the accident – this is in contravention of the Road Traffic Act.
- Do not move your vehicle before taking photographs and videos of the accident scene.
- Do not admit liability or sign any kind of agreement in relation to the cost of damages.
- It’s important not to let an unauthorised towing company take away your car from the scene of the incident.
What to do if my car is hit while parked?
In the event that your car gets hit while it is parked, the first thing you should do is take note of the time the incident happened and check if there is any note left behind.
You should also look for witnesses and ask if they saw anything. Some parking lots are equipped with surveillance cameras; make sure to enquire at their security office to check for available footage.
Additionally, take pictures of any damages that may have occurred to your car as well as a video of it in order to be thorough when making your claim.
You should then file a police report before making a claim with your insurance provider to prove that the damage was due to being hit by another car. It is essential to do this within 24 hours of incident taking place.
Can I sell my car after an accident?
Selling a car after an accident can be difficult, but it’s possible. If you decide to take the plunge and put your car on the market, make sure you’re transparent with potential buyers about the incident and research thoroughly before settling on a sale price.
What to do in the event of an accident outside Singapore?
You should make a report at the nearest Police Station in the country the accident occurred. If you require advice and assistance, please call your insurance company.
Do I need to report an accident if a private settlement is made?
The answer is yes, even if you have reached a private agreement with the other party involved in the incident, you should still report it to your insurer. This ensures that a record of the incident exists in case the other party decides to make a claim against you at any point in the future. Failing to inform your insurer may also prejudice or void any claims from being processed.
How does an at-fault accident affect insurance?
If you get into an accident and are found to be at fault, your auto insurance rates could likely be affected. It’s important to note that the amount of increase can vary from provider to provider, so it’s best to ask the insurer or check your policy documents. The severity of the accident as well as how many accidents you’ve had in the past (and if you still retain a No-Claim Discount) may also affect how much your rates go up.
What to do when you witness a car accident?
If you witness a car accident, pull off to the side of the road at a safe spot. Take a moment to assess the situation and decide if you should call the police or ambulance. It’s ok to offer help and provide a witness account, but be careful not to touch anything unnecessarily.
What type of car accidents in Singapore that insurance might not cover?
In Singapore, there are some cases of car accidents that may not be covered by insurance. These include accidents caused by traffic offences, like speeding, drink driving, reckless driving, and hit and run incidents.
Do I need to report police for minor car accident?
In most cases, a police report is not required for minor accidents without injury. However, there are certain scenarios where a police report should be filed, such as when there is a foreign car involved, a hit and run incident, an accident involving government vehicles or property or if someone has suffered injuries that require outpatient medical treatment for at least three days.
If I make a claim, will I automatically lose my No-Claim Discount (NCD)?
It depends on the circumstances. If you are found to be totally not at fault in an accident involving another vehicle, your NCD will remain intact and not be affected. In all other cases, however, your NCD could be affected.