Car accidents can be anything from highly stressful to fatal. The Association for Safe International Road Travel claims that there are almost 1.3 million deaths per year from car accidents, which works out to an average of 3,287 people losing their lives every day.
While most people will not experience a fatal car crash, the average driver is expected to experience as many as four minor accidents in their lifetime. If you find yourself involved in a car accident, it can be hard to stay calm and clear-headed; therefore, it’s important to be prepared by knowing exactly what you should do in this situation.
Here are some practical tips to remember in the event of a car accident. Following these steps will reduce stress and ensure the safety of you and those around you.
Make sure everyone is safe
The most important thing to remember in a road accident is to make sure that everyone is safe and well. If you can, provide first aid to those that need it. In situations like this, it’s a good time to remember that you may have a first aid kit located inside your car. If you are ever in a situation where you cannot give first aid, contact the emergency medical services as soon as possible.
Move your vehicle and clear debris
If you are involved in a minor accident, you should try to move your car to a safe location on the side of the roadprovided it is safe to do so and your car is still in a drivable condition.It is commonly thought that you should avoid moving the car toensure the incident is recorded accurately, but this is a misconception. When the police arrive at the scene, one of thefirst things they will do is ask you to move your vehicle to safe location to avoid any further accidents.If possible, you should also try to move large pieces of debris from the road.
Contact the police
One of the most common mistakes made in minor road incidents is not contacting the police. Many incidents pass on an agreement made between the two parties. Unfortunately, although this may seem like the best idea, there are several factors you must consider. What happens if the other party does not have valid insurance? You will only have yourself to blame! In most states, it is a legal requirement to notify the police of any road accidents that occur, even if no injuries have been sustained. A police officer may not physically attend the scene if there are no injuries, but they will still be able to file an accident report. In situations where there is little damage and no injuries, a police officer will take information from both parties.
In most states, it is required by lawthat you exchange personal information with any otherparties involved in the accident, including any witnesses. It’s vital that you their name, phone number and address at a minimum, but it’s also useful to get their insurance details and license number. Jotdown as much information as you can, including the make and model of their car. Alongside note taking, it is a good idea to use thecamera on your phone to record videos or take pictures of both cars and any damage they have. Avoid admitting fault or arguing with anyone at the scene: just get the necessary information and let your insurer handle the rest.
Call your insurer
Once everyone is safe and you have the details of the other driver(s) and any witnesses, call your insurer as soon as possible to inform them of the situation. They’ll be able to guide you through the process and let you know if there is anything you need to do.