With millions of car journeys being made every day across the United States, it isn’t surprising that there are millions of accidents annually. Even if you are the most careful driver on the road, you will still be at the mercy of other road users. It is therefore important to know what to do should an accident occur.
Fortunately, most auto accidents are minor and those involved are able to walk away with serious injuries. Here’s what you need to do if you find yourself involved in an auto accident.
Make Sure You Stop
You should never leave the scene without reporting the accident to the appropriate authorities. This is the most important thing to remember following an accident. Even if the collision is a minor one, leaving the scene of an accident will get you into trouble.
Protect the Scene
As well as ensuring that evidence is preserved for accident investigators, protecting the scene will ensure that other drivers don’t also inadvertently run into your accident scene, causing more injuries. Some drivers feel safer keeping a set of highly reflective clothing in their vehicle so they can be clearly seen if they find themselves needing to stand near to the road after an accident.
If you want to be extra safe, keep some road safety flares in your vehicle for use in an emergency. A flashlight is an essential item to add to your vehicle safety pack; this won’t just enable you to see, you can also signal your presence to other drivers.
Report the Accident
Reporting the accident will ensure that there is a police record of the incident. This will be essential if you want to make an insurance claim or if you want to claim compensation from the other party for any injuries that you might sustain. You want to make your report as soon as possible after your accident so that all the key details are fresh in your mind.
You might also want to take some photos of the scene. If you have any dashcam footage, make sure that you keep it safe. If you don’t, try to document the scene as best you can.
The officer who investigates your auto accident will make sure to gather the details of all the involved parties. However, the police won’t respond to every auto accident in every state. If the police won’t be attending your accident, it is imperative that you get the correct details for the other parties involved. Gather their personal information, information about their vehicle, and their insurance information. If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should try to get their details as well, as they may be able to verify your version of events later on.
None of us want to be involved in an auto accident, but it is a common enough occurrence that we should all be prepared for it. Fortunately, there isn’t a huge amount that you need to remember. Just make sure you gather everyone’s details and work through the other items on this list.