Yesterday my dad was involved in a minor traffic accident just before he turned onto the main road from my parents' place at Bedok South. This is the factual statement he provided to the police:
"On the 19/04/2012 at about 0832hrs, I was driving out of the carpark beside block 13A Bedok South Rd. I came to a halt at the stop line and looked out for traffic as the cars were oncoming from my right. The traffic was quite heavy.
Then suddenly I heard a bang from my left passenger side. I saw a female Chinese on her bicycle had hit onto my left bumper. I asked the girl if she was injured and she replied her leg was injured. But she still moved her bicycle and walked to my side of the car. I told her not to move and I shall call for an ambulance, but she insisted she can call herself. There was no damage to both my car and her bicycle.
Then suddenly a male Chinese appeared and offered to help the Chinese girl to call for the ambulance. When the ambulance came she was conveyed to the Changi General Hospital.
A while later the traffic police came and I told him what had happened. He issued me a notice and advised me to lodge a traffic accident report."
I think my dad handled the situation well by leaving most of the matter to the police. He did not offer to pay the lady any money although he did initially request to accompany her to a nearby clinic which she had declined and insisted on going to the hospital instead. Nor was he afraid to call in the authorities I.e police and ambulance, which is appropriate as we can then leave it to the good hands of he investigative officer from Traffic police to investigate the matter and should any compensation be required, the car insurance would be notified officially by the traffic police.
It was suspicious how another Chinese man came out of nowhere to help this lady. My mum, in view of the recent cases of rumored child abductions and scams by PRCs in Singapore, immediately drew the conclusion that my dad's accident could have been premeditated scam to cheat him of his money. However, I cautioned my dad that we had no evidence to accuse the lady of such intentions, hence he should just stick to the facts and inform the police his experience accordingly.
The notice issued by the TP indicated that my dad may be charged with inconsiderate driving. It would take 4-6weeks for investigation and the TP would inform us should any further follow-up regarding compensation and charges be required.
In this case, although my dad was able to act calmly and avoid alot of unnecessary complications, it was nonetheless a worry for my whole family and a disruption to our whole day.
My key learnings from this case are as follows and I hope everyone will heed this advice:
1. First and Foremost: All drivers, Please drive carefully! Check all blind spots and always check left and right before turning (no matter how familiar u are with the roads). As a road user we must be vigilant at ALL times to ensure our own safety and safety of others.
2. When involved in an accident, DO NOT PANIC! Do not be afraid of calling in the authorities and do not try to settle by giving the victim money. Remember that if the victim is really injured, you will be helping him by calling an ambulance. Once u call an ambulance, a police report will necessarily follow.
3. Be vigilant and observe if other third parties come to be involved in the situation. You should get all the names of these third parties and include their details in your report to the police. This will aid police investigation and help immensely if witnesses are required to be identified.
4. When lodging your police report, be factual. Do not add in any assumptions or guess the intentions of others as this will create more chaos than help the police in their investigation.
5. Always inform your family or loved ones what has happened as soon as possible so that they do not worry unduly for your safety.
My dad is guilty for being "the boy who never calls wolf". So many times he has been in accidents (several times life threatening) and he still hesitates to call and tell us. Hearing the news from others (relatives and other passerbys) makes us panic and worry so much since we don't actually know what happened and hearsay is often distorted!