Tips for Dealing with an Auto Accident
Whether you are a seasoned driver with decades of experience or a fresh young driver enjoying the adventure of open roads, an accident is not something you expect to happen. While it is true that millions of trips are made safely every week in cities around the country, there are also bound to be accidents. Whether it is a minor fender bender or major pile up, here are a few pointers on what you should do if you find yourself in an accident.
1. Remain Calm
Stay calm, and check for injuries. If you or someone else is injured, do not move.
2. Be Aware
If you are able and it is safe, move out of traffic. Be aware of approaching vehicles and take extra precautions. Check on any others that were involved.
3. Move Vehicle
If it is safe to do so and the vehicle is operating safely, move your vehicle out of major traffic. Once you have moved your vehicle, turn off the engine and put on your hazard lights.
4. Call Police and Ambulance
If the damage appears to be over $2,000 or if injuries are involved, call the police or ambulance. If you are unsure and it will make you feel more comfortable, it is okay to give them a call and request that an accident report be completed.
5. Do Not Discuss
Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than the police or your insurance representative.
6. Do Not Admit Fault
Even if you believe you may be at fault, do not admit to this. Try not to assign blame to the other driver either, as this may cause aggression or heightened emotions, making the situation more stressful.
7. Do Not Leave
Do not leave the scene until authorized by the police.
8. Take Pictures
Nowadays nearly everyone will have a cell phone camera capable of taking pictures and videos. Put this to good use and document the damages of all cars involved.
Make sure to write down all possible information from others that were involved and any witnesses, as well as what happened from your perspective. This includes names, addresses, insurance details, contact information, driver’s license and plate numbers, vehicle information, the location of the accident and the police officer that responded. You can never have too much information.
Give your insurance provider a call and report the accident. They will be able to tell you what needs to be done going forward. The sooner you get the process started, the better.
11. Do Not Authorize
Do not authorize repairs on your vehicle until you have spoken to a claims adjuster.
We hope you never have to use these tips, but it does not hurt to be well prepared if an accident does happen. Always remember to drive safe and stay alert!