A safety engineer, I fully understand the consequences of a (traffic) accident. Not only did it cause property damage or even injury, but also it might cause intangible consequences, which are sometimes hidden, unknown by us, but it could be larger than what we thought. For the case where your car is a victim, although the cost of repair of your car will be taken care the fault driver’s insurance company, there are some hidden costs you should bear:
- Rent a car for replacement until the car is ready from repair
- Spend time, two or more times to go to Traffic Police Office for police reports
- Spend time to go to car company damage assessment office, normally in industrial area
- Spend time to an insurance company office for claims
- Spend time to go to a repair workshop, normally far in industrial area
- Damage the car free-accident record; might cause reduced resale value
Therefore, I try to drive safely as much as possible, regardless the fact that my car is fully insured.
Whenever I drive, I always practice what I have learned since 12 years back what it’s called a defensive driving. Try to exercise “what if” scenario. Try to expect the unexpected.
Nevertheless, there is something I couldn’t control. After all precautions, after all safe driving, something might just happen, beyond our control. This is what happened to me mid-November 2009. One day before my departure for Hajj, I was on leave from work, I went to Al Gharafa Health Center to process my family health card. I parked my car in parking lots in front of main building, then rushed into receptionist and waited there when a loud bang heard. I ignored it initially but then went out to check for curiousness. Yup, there was an accident. I saw the back of a white Toyota landcruiser “kissed” a GMC at its front. This must be a big hit for the GMC front grill fell off, and water leaking from a broken radiator. Not far from these two, a Mitsubishi Galant got its left mirror parted. Thought unbelievably how this could have happened given they were in the parking lot!
Then, I checked my car that was parked on another parking slot, separated by a lane. Masya Allah…..it dented on the left rear door. No other cars were on the left and right. I initially thought that it was an independent accident; not related to landcruiser and GMC. I asked many people and no one could give an answer. To make it worse I couldn’t speak Arabic and they couldn’t speak English very well.To make long story short, my car was also hit by that white landcruiser. Thanks to a Traffic Policeman, who came around 15 minutes after the accident, for investigation. He interrogated the fault driver , the victims as well as witnesses, and made some notes and record driver ID and car identification on his book.
The following are the complete chronological events:
– Call Traffic Police, 999
– Assist in investigation
– Go to Traffic Police. Assist in making police report.
– Go to Car Company (in my case Mitsubishi) workshop to get a damage assessment quotation
– Back to Traffic Police Office to get a police report. Pay 10QR by using debit card/credit card
– Go to Insurance Company of the fault driver to claim for repair. Insurance Company officers will take a photograph, and then issue you a letter to a repair workshop.
– Go to a referred repair workshop
The following is taken from http://www.gov.qa (Hukoomi):
If you get involved in a traffic accident, bring your vehicle to a halt and report the accident on 999, stating your exact location. A traffic police car will be sent to the scene to investigate and determine each party’s responsibility. Afterwards, both parties should go to the nearest traffic centre to complete the necessary paperwork.
Please note that all accidents should be reported to the police, regardless of whether people were injured in the accident or not, as car repairs cannot be carried out without an official police report.
If both parties agree who is responsible for the accident, there is no need for them to wait for the traffic police to arrive at the scene. Instead they can go straight to the nearest traffic centre to report the accident, taking care to mention that they have agreed who is at fault and why