We try our best to drive safe and defensively. We even take classes that prepare us to be defensive drivers. Despite having experience and taking all the safety precautions accidents happen!
When an accident does happen, are you prepared for what comes next?
Here are 8 Steps to follow if you ever get into a car accident.
1. When you get into an accident, the first thing you should do is stop your car. Check to make sure, if you or anyone in your car are injured. When you are confident that you are okay, you can step out of the car safely paying attention to your surroundings. If you are not okay, call 911 immediately or ask someone else to call on your behalf.
2. When you are outside of your vehicle check to make sure the passengers in the other car are okay as well. If they are not call 911 and report what happened. Assess to make sure everyone is okay before considering the next step, which is to move your car out of the way if it is safe to do so. If your car is causing traffic or a hazard, move the car to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If you have flares in your emergency kit, use them.
Read about what you should have in your emergency kit here.
3. When you are safe and the cars are moved call 911 if you have not already done so. No matter how minor a car collision is and even when there is no damage, it is always better to have the authorities involved. Let the police mediate the conversation.
4. Now, you might be stressed because you just got into a car accident but now is the time to clear your mind and focus on accruing information without panicking. It is important to get details about the driver in the other car. Remember to get:
a. Name of Driver
b. Address of the Driver
c. Phone Number and anything else you think it necessary
5. On top of getting the Drivers information, it is also important to get the Insurance details from the other driver.
a. Name of Insurance Company
b. Company Policy Number
6. Most people forget to collect information about the car and accident. It can also be helpful to document the accident and the vehicles by taking pictures of the scene in as many angles as possible. This is equally important to obtain. Make sure you get:
a. Vehicle- Make, Model and Year
b. Registration Number
c. License Plate Number
d. Date and Time of Accident
e. Location of Accident (Intersection)
f. Weather conditions
g. Witnesses name and contact details
h. Officers name, badge number and contact information.
7. One important thing that can be helpful to note is your memory of the accident. It is better to do this ASAP when the accident is fresh in your memory because in time, some details might become foggy.
8. Call your insurance company. If you are able to at the scene of the accident – great. If not ASAP. Tell them everything honestly without any speculation. If you do not know something, say that you don’t instead of guessing. Speak for yourself and not the other party involved in the accident.
Using all these steps can help you be more prepared in a tough situation like a car accident.
Practice Defensive Driving!
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