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Clearing the Road after an Accident

After there has been an accident it’s important that the road is cleared as quickly as possible so that regular traffic flow can resume. There are just a few things you'll need to know before you decide to clear the vehicles. A few things that will ensure you don't run into trouble with the law.

Is everyone okay?

Firstly, if anyone has been injured during the accident it’s important to make sure they are safely on their way to the hospital or have at least been properly tended to. If the drivers involved in the accident aren’t injured then it’s up to them to make sure that the damaged vehicles are taken care of.

Getting permission

If someone was injured or (in a worst case scenario) where someone has lost their life in an accident that happened in an urban area, it’s seen as an offence to move any of the vehicles that were involve in the accident from where they ended up after they settled. There are exceptions to this rule however...

Exception 1

When a traffic or police officer has given the go-ahead to move the vehicles.

Exception 2

If the vehicle is blocking the entire roadway of a public road.
In the case where the vehicle is blocking the entire road, you are only allowed by law to move the vehicle just enough so that traffic may pass. Before you move the vehicle though you need to clearly mark the original position of the vehicle on the road surface. 

Marking the road

If you need to move the vehicle before the police get to the scene, you need to mark the position of the vehicle with chalk or crayon (whatever you’ve got available to you). If there is a tow truck company on the scene helping you, they'll be able to help you with this. With your marker you need to show where the corners of the car were and which direction each of the wheels were facing. Find a witness on the scene to confirm the accuracy of the marks you’ve just drawn – getting this confirmation in writing is essential.

Wait for the police

It’s important that if the accident involved two drivers, both need to wait until the police have arrived. Even if you believe that you weren’t the cause of the accident it’s important to stay. The last thing you want is the police officer hearing a one-sided story and casting your involvement in a bad light. One-sided evidence may be hard to go up against later. The lesson? If you’re a driver involved in an accident, always wait until the police have arrived and have taken down your side of the story before you leave.

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