6 million car accidents happen every year in the US. Because this number is so high, you want to be prepared if a major car accident ever happens to you.
In the heat of the moment, it can be hard to sort out what you have to do. To help you out, here are 5 steps you should take when you have a collision.
1. Pull Over and Check for Injuries
The very first thing you and the other parties need to do is pull over safely. Carefully check yourself and your passengers for any signs of injury.
A very common injury from a car accident is whiplash. Symptoms may not show up right away, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on any pain that develops over the next few days.
2. Call 911
Laws vary from state to state, but generally, you’ll need to call the police. This will help with documenting your accident, which can help with your insurance claims.
3. Document the Accident
If you’ve determined that you’re physically ok, get out of the car and take pictures of your car from all angles. The more pictures, the better.
If there are noticeable signs of injury on you or your passengers, take pictures of those too, such as bruises or cuts.
4. Exchange Information With All Parties Involved
Make sure the other parties are alright. Then, exchange your contact and insurance information with one another. These pieces of information are crucial:
- Full names and phone numbers
- Insurance information (especially the policy numbers)
- Driver’s licenses
- License plates
- Vehicle information (color, model, type, etc.)
Be careful not to admit fault while at the scene; this can be used against you in the future. Instead, let the insurance companies assess the situation and determine who was at fault for causing the accident. Don’t let the other parties pressure you into admitting fault.
5. Call Roadside Assistance
If you have roadside assistance, this is a good time to give them a call and let them know that you’ve been involved in a major car accident. They should offer 24/7 coverage, which means no matter what time of day you have your accident, you should get immediate help.
Depending on how severe the damage is to your car, they may either come out to change a flat tire or tow it to the auto shop. Make sure to keep all receipts so you can get reimbursement if you’re not found at fault.
Be Prepared for a Major Car Accident
With these 5 simple steps, you’re now better prepared if a major car accident happens to you. Remember to just breathe and take it one step at a time.
Although it may seem devastating at the time, just be glad that you’ve come out of it still alive. Cars can always be fixed or replaced, but you can’t get another life. Just keep calm and make sure you get everything properly sorted out.
Wondering what causes accidents in the first place? Here are 10 common causes of car accidents.