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14 February 2018 04:02 pm

Qatar Guide: How to deal with a car accident in Qatar

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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Car Accident 14 02 2018

Globally, a traffic accident takes place every minute, meaning that there are around 5.25 million car accidents per annum, making them one of the leading causes of death in the world. Most occur due to speeding, loss of control of a vehicle, poor weather and visibility, or being distracted at the wheel by using mobile phones, listening to the radio, or talking to passengers. Despite the best and continued efforts of Qatar's Traffic Department to curtail these dangerous practices (specifically through heavy fines and other penalties), such accidents are still a frequent occurrence in the country. Qatar has very strict rules when it comes to reporting accidents, even if it involves a tiny scratch due to a brush with another vehicle.

The first and most important advice to remember is this: be prepared. Make absolutely sure that the documents listed below are with you at all times when you're in your car.   

  • Driving license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Car insurance papers

These are the first things the police will ask for when your vehicle is involved in an accident, so do yourself a favour and make sure these documents are present and updated!

The question of papers aside, it's often the case that emotions, tempers, and anxiety can run high among people involved in a car accident. So, if you're unfortunate enough to be in one, remember -- try to stay calm, gather your wits about you, and follow the basic steps given below. 

Check for injuries

(Image credit: Hamad Hospital)

Be sure to check for any injuries to yourself and other passengers. It's advisable to have a first-aid kit in your car just in case. If the accident is serious, medical teams will arrive at the spot immediately to administer to any injuries such as trapped limbs, bleeding, and concussions, amongst others.

If the accident involves another vehicle and you spot injuries amongst others, immediately call the ambulance service for treatment. No one should be moved if injuries are bad as this could make the situation worse. Transporting accident victims is the duty of emergency service personnel, who will take them to the nearest hospital,

In the event of a minor accident, move your vehicle off the road

(Image credit: Hani Arif/flickr)

If there are no injuries or, if they're very minor, move your vehicle off the road to prevent traffic from being blocked. In the case of a minor accident involving another vehicle, both sides can consent to move their cars.

Hazard warning lights should be switched on to inform other vehicles that there's been an accident -- especially at night. Failing to do so could lead to another vehicle crashing into you. Many cars come with signboards showing an accident, so place them on the road to alert other drivers.

Should the car be moved if the accident is major?

(Image credit: Omar Chatriwala/flickr)

There's much confusion as to whether a vehicle should be moved in a minor accident. If two sides agree who is at fault, vehicles can be moved to prevent traffic jams. 

However, don't move the vehicle if the accident is a major one, or in the case of severe injuries. You must wait for the police to arrive to carry out an assessment. In the case of injuries, call both an ambulance and the police. Minor injuries should also not be treated lightly, as they could have deeper repercussions, especially in the event of a concussion. Even if you deem injuries to be minor, it may be wiser to call for an ambulance. It's better to be safe than sorry. You have to provide the attending police officer’s details such as name, badge number, telephone number, and police branch. Later on, you have to visit the police station to collect the accident report. This procedure is quick and is done on the same day, or the day after an accident. 

Talk to the other driver

(Image credit: iStock by Getty Images

If there are no injuries in an accident with another vehicle and your car has been moved off the road by mutual consent, talk to the other driver and get his or her point of view as to the cause. It's best to remain cool and calm and not lose your head. Shouting and screaming will not help matters, and don’t try to affix blame, but instead calmly hear the other person out. The accident may not have occurred due to driver recklessness but a technical glitch in either vehicle.

Filing an accident report

(Image credit: Shane MacClure/flickr)

In the case of a major accident, it's strongly advised to file an accident report to help the police make a decision. A report ensures action can be taken against the guilty party.

A minor accident can be resolved amicably, and a simple discussion can always potentially lead to a settlement. The other driver may agree to pay for repairs to your vehicle. You can report minor accident through the Metrash2 mobile app service, eliminating the need to go to the traffic investigation services office.

Pictures and your insurer 

(Image credit: iStock by Getty Images

A handy tip is to take pictures and note down details of the accident -- particularly if you're not to blame. Pictures will help prove to the police that you may not have been at fault.

Be sure to get in touch with your insurer to determine if your policy covers the accident. Pictures are of great help to insurance firms when looking into your claims. Comprehensive insurance means full coverage for all financial losses in an accident, while third-party insurance covers injuries to third parties.

Do not, under any circumstances, leave the scene of an accident, as this reflects very badly on you with the police. Be sure you call the police to the scene of the accident to ensure a proper assessment of what happened.  

Emergency numbers in Qatar

Police: 999, (+974) 4489-0699/4489-0670

Ambulance: 999   

Have you ever been involved in a car accident in Qatar? How did you deal with it and what further tips would you suggest? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to like and share this article -- it keeps us going!

(Cover image Image credit of Hani Arif/flickr)