Car Accidents Happen, Here’s Some Thoughts
Unfortunately car accidents happen and even a minor accident can be very stressful. In the moments after an accident it's important to do certain things to keep yourself safe. These are some ideas to think about and go over with the younger drivers in your home to help them be prepared in case of an accident. Remember it is very easy to have jumbled thoughts when an accident occurs so thinking about what you would need to do at that time is important
Right after the accident:
1 - Take a few deep breaths and gather your presence of mind
2 - Turn your engine off and turn on your hazards
3 - Check yourself for injuries, then check the others in your car. When injury is in doubt call 911 for an ambulance. Ask for help from bystanders if needed. 12 years ago I was in a bad accident and did not go to the hospital even though I was knocked out for about 20-30 seconds. I thought I was ok at the time. I later ended up going to the hospital because my back and neck were hurting so bad.
4 - Be careful if you get out of your vehicle. You want to get to the side of the road as soon as possible. Often times the most serious injuries occur after the accident when a person stands next to their vehicle in the middle of the road. Get out of the road quickly if possible.
5 - If the accident is minor move your car to the shoulder of the road immediately.
6 - Call the police even if it's a minor accident. (Police officers in some jurisdictions however may not be able to respond unless there are injuries or if it is a major wreck)
7 - Take pictures of the accident if possible. Unfortunately there are some bad people out there that will lie about what happened causing the accident. This happened to my daughter recently and she ended up having to pay her $1000 deductible even though it was the other person's fault
8 - Exchange information with the other party or parties. Get insurance company name, policy number, driver's licence number, phone number and licence plate number. Often the driver of the other vehicle is not the owner so get as much information as possible.
9 - Write down the make, model and vin number of the other vehicle.
10 - If there any witnesses get their information if possible. Some people are not willing to give out their information however it doesn’t hurt to ask.
11 - All the information exchanged can be photographed for safer keeping.
12 - When you get home call your insurance company.
Remember these are just ideas to think about. Keep the thoughts you like and disregard the rest. Every accident is different and do whatever is the best and safest thing for you at the accident scene