Being a safe, conscientious driver behind the wheel is crucial. This entails not driving distracted, following all traffic laws, and traveling at a safe rate of speed.
Keep in mind that even the safest drivers can experience a car accident, particularly when you encounter a negligent motorist on the road. Here are a few steps you can take if you become involved in an accident.
Check for injuries
Check yourself and all passengers for injuries. If injuries are present, call for help immediately. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive, especially if you believe there are head, neck, or back injuries to address. If everyone is OK, contact local law enforcement to report the accident. In addition to helping control the flow of traffic around your vehicle, the police will also create a report describing what happened.
Exchange info with other drivers
The other driver’s information is crucial when making an insurance claim. Ask for their contact info, as well as the name and phone number of their insurance carrier. Be civil and polite but keep the conversation brief. Even a general apology regarding what occurred is problematic, as it can be an admission of guilt.
Document the scene
Once you have collected the other driver’s contact and insurance information, the next step is to document the scene where the accident took place. Make note of the time, date, and location. Take pictures of your vehicle damage, as well as damage to other vehicles. Also document any road hazards if applicable, as they may have played a role. Finally, speak to any witnesses on the scene.
While even relatively minor car accidents can be overwhelming, try your best to remain calm. Once you are safe and secure, contact your insurance company and provide the information you compiled.