Responding Correctly Following a Car Accident: What You Need to Know

No driver wants to find themselves involved in a horrible car accident on the road that leaves them with lasting injuries. Unfortunately, car accidents are quite common on roadways in the U.S. and around the world. While not all of these accidents will have major injuries involved, a driver still needs to know how to respond when an accident occurs.

How Frequently Do Car Accidents Occur?

Car Accident

It isn’t a pleasant thought to consider the fact that car accidents happen frequently, but they in fact do. In fact, it’s estimated that there are around 13 car accidents every minute in the United States, which amounts to around five million car accidents on a yearly basis. Keep in mind that this data only takes into account averages based on reported accidents, meaning the true number of car accidents is likely far higher.

5 Steps to Follow After a Wreck

Considering the fact that the majority of car accidents cause property damage and other issues, it’s entirely possible that you will be in shock after an accident happens. This can make it easy to forget certain to-do items in the moment, but focus on engraining the following five steps to memory:

1. Inspect yourself and others for injuries

First and foremost, a person needs to inspect themselves and others involved in the crash for injuries. This will determine if calling emergency services is necessary or not. Take a look at yourself following the accident, gently, and inspect under your clothes to be certain there are no hidden injuries. Once you are certain you have none, check with the other driver if possible or passengers within your own vehicle.

2. Get affected vehicles out of the road

Assuming all vehicles are operational following the accident, do your best to get the vehicle out of the road. Leaving your vehicle in the road will create traffic or, worse, can result in a secondary accident resulting from another driver not paying attention and failing to see your stopped car. Avoid driving too far from the crash site, though, as the other driver may think you are attempting to flee. Instead, just pull your vehicle over to the shoulder quickly and efficiently.

Also Read: Why Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer.

3. Exchange information with the other driver

Once all vehicles have been moved out of the road, it’s time to speak with the other driver professionally and respectfully. Try to keep in mind that they most likely did not mean to cause the accident, nor did you, so don’t let your emotions get the better of you. Simply trade information with them, such as insurance and contact information, so that the situation can be handled at a later date.

4. Take photos of both vehicles

In addition to exchanging information, don’t let the other person drive off before getting a picture of their vehicle as well as yours. If possible, try to get photos of their entire vehicle just to have as proof in case they try to claim that you caused additional damage on their vehicle.

5. Contact your insurance company

Finally, you should contact your insurance company after the fact and inform them as to what occurred. Try to keep in mind the fact that this call should only be to tell them that an accident occurred but avoid giving too many details yet. Once the official claims process begins, there will be a dedicated person who gets a statement from you regarding what occurred.

Quick Tips for Avoiding an Accident in the Future

With all of the above outlined, it’s worth looking at some way to ensure you never need to actually utilize the above tips. To that end, consider the following:

  • Limit the amount of time that you drive at night due to limited visibility and drowsiness
  • Avoid driving in poor weather conditions that you are unfamiliar with
  • Take care of preventative maintenance under the hood so that your vehicle stays operational
  • Never drink and drive or mix drugs and drive
  • Remove any and all distractions from your vehicle prior to hitting the road

Also Read: Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in History

Keep yourself and others safe on the road

Keep in mind that committing a hit-and-run can be a felony charge given the circumstances and failing to realize that you actually caused a collision is not an excuse for taking off without talking to the other driver. Always make sure to utilize the five steps above after an accident occurs so that you are sure you are handling everything in a legal manner.