Whether you are a novice driver or an expert, accidents are unfortunately an integral part of life on the roads in the UAE. 77 people were killed in road accidents in the first half of this year in the UAE and many more were injured. It is important for a motorist to be aware of what needs to be done from the legal perspective in the event of an accident.
There are different types of accidents. There are accidents between one or more cars, accidents which cause injuries and those which don’t, accidents that occur when you are parked and those which occur when you are driving. There are also accidents between a vehicle and other objects as is the case if you hit a pillar while reversing out of your parking space in the mall.
The key thing to remember is to remain calm as losing your temper or becoming emotional only makes things more difficult for yourself and for others. The first thing you have to do if there are any injuries is dial 999 for the ambulance. No repairs can be made to vehicles without the all important police report, so it is important that the next call you make is to the police. In Dubai and the northern emirates, you can get the police when you call 999, while in the city of Abu Dhabi and its suburbs, you should dial 999 and ask to speak to the Saeed officers – the traffic police. So, essentially you can get both the police nad the ambulance when you dial 999.
Traffic can back up quickly, so when you are involved in a collision, it is important to move your vehicle to a safe place so that it is not obstructing the traffic. Get out of your car if it is safe to do and ensure that the people in your car and those in other cars are all in one piece. If by any chance, another driver tries to speed away without stopping, try your best to take down their license plate and give the details to the police when they arrive. While calling the police for assistance, it is important to give specific details about your location so that they get there as quickly as they can. Ensure that all your documents like your driving license, car registration and Emirates ID or passport are within quick reach as the police will definitely ask for them.
It would also be a good idea to take pictures of the damage caused to your vehicle as the insurance company will ask for them. When the police arrive, calmly explain the facts of the incident to the police when you are given a chance to state your side of the story. Be respectful of the police officers and the others involved in the accident.
After listening to all parties, the police will determine who is at fault and issue the police report. The pink copy is given to the party who is at fault, while the green copy is given to the innocent party. If you are given a white copy, it means that neither party is at fault. The police report is issued in Arabic. If the damage to the car is minor and it is in a driveable condition, you would probably be allowed to drive away your vehicle. Otherwise, you might have to arrange for a tow truck. There is no shortage of recovery trucks in Dubai, so it might be a good idea to have a few numbers in your address book.
After the police report has been issued, the next step is to contact your insurance company. Depending on the terms of your policy, you might get a replacement car. They will advise you of the cost related to the repairs and the garages where the repairs can be done.
If you have a collision with one or more cars, it is important not to flee from the site of the accident, however distressed you might be. It is illegal to drive away from the site of an accident and you can end up with a AED 500 fine, six black points and confiscation of your vehicle for seven days if you fail to stop. In the event that the police determine that you are at fault, and you have caused serious injury, the punishment will be decided by the legal system. You will also receive black points, could be banned from driving and your vehicle could be confiscated for 60 days.
What to do if you hit an object other than a car
If you drive into an immovable object like a pillar and cause damage to your vehicle, you would still need to get a police report after calling 999. It is illegal to get repairs done without getting a police report. In that case, you or your insurance company might be asked to cover the costs of repairing the object you have run into and might have to pay a small fee to the police for the call-out
What to do if someone runs into your car while it was parked and you weren’t there
If someone hits and causes damage to your vehicle while you are parked, the best option would be to check if anyone has called the police to report that they have hit your car. If not, it would be a good idea to check the footage of the CCTV cameras covering the area if there is CCTV surveillance of the parking area, as in the case of big malls. In case you are unable to get any evidence of who has hit your car and run, you will still need to get your vehicle repaired and you need a police report for this. Hence, you will need to call 999 and get the police to come to the site of the accident or if the damage is minor, take it to the nearest police station for getting the police report.