Hearing the impact of your car hitting another is a sound no one possibly wants to experience. Despite the alarming frequency of car crashes on US roads, people will never be prepared to deal with such situations.
Whether it is the complacent mentality (“It’s never going to happen to me”) or just the disorienting effect of an accident, many people have no idea what to do in the event of a crash. While it may seem like pessimistic thinking, being ‘prepared’ can save you a lot of trouble.
Here are five things you need to know and do after a vehicular accident.
1. Keep Your Emotions in Check
Panicking in any situation never solves anything. The sooner you can keep a measure of calm, the better you can collect your thoughts and deal with the situation at hand.
Turn on your hazard lights immediately to keep other motorists aware of the accident area, providing a temporarily safe perimeter. Check if your vehicle’s (and the other car’s) occupants are injured to know which step to take next.
2. Contact Emergency Responders
If anyone is hurt, call 911 or any emergency number immediately. Call the police if the accident occurred in heavy traffic, as law enforcers will cordon off the area and maintain traffic flow.
3. Have Contact and Insurance Information Ready
Having mobile phones all the time makes exchanging information easy. Photograph the other driver’s insurance card and have them photograph yours for reference. If there are witnesses, ask them for their numbers, as well. Insurance companies will contact them as third parties to investigate the accident properly.
4. File a Personal Report
After filing a report with the police, write down a personal one for reference by your insurance company. Take note of the other car’s make, model, color, license plate number, VIN, and other information from any witnesses.
Take pictures of the crash scene and both vehicles, as Westford Collision says, to help your insurance company in handling any claims involving the accident.
5. Go Home and De-Stress
Figuring in an accident can drain you physically and emotionally, and unwinding in a relaxed environment (provided you are not severely injured) helps alleviate that stress. Once you are calm and collected, call your insurance company to file your claim.
Always remember that having proper knowledge and preparedness in accidents greatly helps in managing their unpredictable nature.