Essential steps and expert advice for responding to a car accident in Luxembourg, from ensuring safety at the scene to fulfilling legal obligations.
If you find yourself involved in a car accident, questions about the appropriate next steps arise in quick succession: What documents should I fill out, such as an accident report or insurance claim form? What will happen to my car? Do I have the correct car insurance to cover damages to my vehicle, or the vehicles of others?
According to 2021 statistics, almost 20,000 people were killed by road accidents in Europe alone. And while accidents come with the territory of driving a car, not everyone knows what to do when they occur.
One of the best sources for understanding car accidents in Luxembourg is the ACL (the Automobile Club of Luxembourg) - an association and 'mobility club' that provides 24/7 roadside and home assistance to its 194,000 members, including in the event of an accident - as well as the SNCA, Luxembourg's National Society of Automobile Circulation. We consulted Frank Maas from the ACL and Manuel Ruggiu of the SNCA, who explained the next best - and required - steps to take following an accident.
Make yourself visible
After an accident, make yourself visible: switch on your hazard lights and put on a high-visibility vest. The ACL advises drivers to always have their high-visibility vest handy, so they don't have to leave their vehicle without it.
Every car needs a minimum of one high-visibility vest, but it is recommended to have as many vests as there are seats in your car.
Take notice of your surroundings
If you are upset and confused after an accident, pay extra attention to ongoing, nearby traffic as you get out of your car.
Place your warning triangle, if possible
Assess the situation and - if there is no danger to yourself or other motorists - secure the scene of the accident by placing a warning triangle in a safe, visible place near the vehicle.
Says Ruggiu, "The 'Code de la Route' (road law) indicates that if you are on normal roads, anything that is not a motorway, you should place the warning triangle 30 metres from the back of your vehicle."
If the warning triangle and vest aren't used, there's a possibility that passengers - as well as the car - won't be visible to other motorists. This is even more likely in bad weather conditions or late at night.
Special precautions for motorway accidents
Ruggiu explains that Luxembourg's road law states that warning triangles should not be placed on the motorway, as it is simply too dangerous for motorists to run around in active traffic. Should you be involved in an accident on the motorway, it is important to try and stop in the breakdown lane and switch on your hazard lights. After putting on high-visibility vests, all passengers should exit the vehicle and wait behind the motorway's guard rails. Wait to call for help once behind these rails.
Call emergency services (112 or 113)
Once everyone is safely behind a guardrail or in a similarly secure location, call emergency services. Call 112 if someone is injured. If the vehicle is parked dangerously, call 113: this will allow police to come and secure the accident site.
Call 112 if liquid is leaking from any car involved in the accident. This will prompt the fire brigade to professionally and securely clean up the accident site.
Fill out the CONSTAT (amicable accident report)
After all passengers are in a safe location, it is important to complete the CONSTAT (amicable accident report). A copy of this mandatory document should be kept in every motorist's car.
You can find a downloadable form and more information about the correct completion of the CONSTAT on your car insurance provider's website. For example, Lalux Insurance's accident report/CONSTAT guidance can be found here.
For more information on car ownership, car insurance and other important aspects of driving safely and securely in Luxembourg, check out other articles in our LaLux series.
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