In car accidents, abroad many stress factors come together: from communication difficulties with the accident opponent and the authorities up to the regulations of foreign insurance companies. We explain how to behave correctly in a car crash abroad, what has to be considered in the accident documentation and which points of contact help.
Car Driving with Good Preparation Abroad
Before the trip starts, you should get conversant with the traffic rules of your destination. For example, there is left-hand traffic in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland. In the US, intersections with the 4-way sign say, “First come, drive first.” Many countries have stricter laws on drinking while driving. If you already know before you set off, you reduce the risk of a traffic accident abroad.
Ensure to have these documents with you abroad:
The Green Card is no longer mandatory within most EU countries. However, the registration number suffices as proof of the car liability insurance. Nevertheless, the green card is useful: it contains important information, such as: For example, the insurance number and contact details of foreign insurance companies.
In some Eastern European countries and in Turkey, it is mandatory to bring the green card as proof of liability insurance. The card is available from your car insurance.
International Accident Report
A printed form of the international accident report should always be appended with your travel documents. Definitely in English, and if possible, in the language of your holiday destination.
Car Accident Abroad – This is How You Behave Properly
In a car crash abroad is basically the same approach as in most countries. You must not leave the accident site and must mark it for other road commuters:
- Set up the warning triangle.
- Put on a safety vest.
- Turn on the hazard lights.
If there were injured persons, immediately dial the emergency call. The emergency number 112 is valid Europe-wide. In the US, dial 911. If necessary, then do first aid. If you have been injured yourself, you should consult a doctor fast and obtain a medical certificate. If you go to a national doctor later, foreign insurance may not accept the certificate.
In case of serious injury, you should definitely consult a personal injury lawyer. Incidentally, you also need it for serious violations of foreign traffic regulations.
Both personal injury and metal damage should be covered by your car insurance. Are you traveling by car, also notify the car rental company.
When the Police Abroad have to be Informed
The extent to which the police have to be notified after an accident abroad differs according to the country and the severity of the accident. In many Eastern European countries, this is necessary even for minor accidents without personal injury. Good to know: The insurance companies there only recognize the accident report drawn up by the police.
In other countries, the police only have to be notified if there are injured persons. If your rental car was involved in the accident, notify the police in any case. This demand the terms of most car rental agencies.
The police should call you in principle even if the accident opponent has fled or there is no agreement.