Imagine this: you are driving home from a long day of work, minding your own business, just trying to enjoy the silence. All of a sudden, you come to a stop but the person behind you decides to continue forward.
Now what are you supposed to do? While nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, this is the reality of driving. No matter how careful you are, there may come a time when you have a run-in with another vehicle.
It is important to know how to proceed if you are involved in a car accident.
5 Steps to Take After an Auto Accident
1. If possible, remove your car from traffic and turn on your hazard lights. This may not be the first thing on your mind, but it is important from a safety perspective.
Note: you should not attempt to move your vehicle if it is inoperable or if you are injured in any way, shape, or form. Instead, wait for emergency personnel to arrive at the scene.
2. Assess your situation. This means taking a closer look at yourself as well as your vehicle. Do you notice any injuries to you or any of your passengers? If so, this is priority number one and you should immediately call 911 if the injuries are serious. Always take care of your health before your vehicle.
If you feel fine, look over your car to assess the damage. Will you be able to drive home? Will you need the assistance of a tow truck?
Tip: as noted above, you should not assess your vehicle in the middle of traffic. Only do this when you are safely out of harm’s way.
3. Exchange information with the other driver. This includes: drivers license information, insurance information, vehicle information, and contact details. The more you gather now the fewer problems you will face in the future.
Note: don’t let the other driver “talk you out of” requesting this information. If the person doesn’t want to share the information with you, contact the police right away.
4. Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles. At the same time, jot down notes related to the accident. You may think you will remember everything at a later date, but this is not always the case. After all, there is a lot going on around you.
Tip: if any witnesses stop to assist you, be sure to collect their contact information as well. Your insurer may need this.
5. Let your insurance company know you have been involved in an accident. This is not something you should wait to do. The sooner you inform your agent as to what has happened the sooner he or she can jump in with the appropriate assistance.
Follow the five steps above if you are involved in a car accident. These can help save you time, money, and lots of headaches in the future. For more info check out some tips from Texas.gov.
Here is a quick recap we made for those that prefer video: