There is nothing fun about getting into a car accident. If you’re a new driver, this could be the first – and hopefully only – time that you’ve been in a car accident. Not knowing what to do in the aftermath of a crash is so worrying, because while you could be the most careful driver out there, you can’t control others on the road. The only thing that you can do is be as prepared as possible so that your experience after an accident isn’t one that has to be too terrible.
An accident, no matter how minor, is shocking. You have to deal with a damaged car, headaches with your insurance and the insurance of the other driver, injuries to assess and then your own emotional reaction to the situation. It’s heavy going, and while an accident could go very badly, for the purpose of this guide we’re going to assume an accident has happened with injuries as minor ones. If you end up in a crash at some point where the injuries are more serious, it goes without saying to call the emergency paramedics straight away. So, what do you do when you have an accident on the road?
- Be as calm as you possibly can. This can feel impossible, given the shell-shocked feeling of the situation at hand. There will be time to lose your cool and flip out about what’s happened later, because for right now you need to think.
- Safety is so important once you’ve been in an accident because while you may think the worst part has happened, until you’ve checked on the others who have been in the accident with you, it may not have. If it’s possible, move your car to the side of the road and if it isn’t, switch on the hazards and put out cones if you have them in the boot. This helps others to know that there has been an accident that they can avoid.
- Checking for injuries on yourself and the other passengers is important before you call 911 for an ambulance. It’s standard to send out an ambulance for an accident, but it’s good to be able to give them a heads up before they arrive.
- The next step is to call the police. The other person involved may suggest not calling, but it would be a bad move on your part. Firstly, it could be the law in your state to report an accident. Secondly, police reports help to prevent fraud and establish who is liable for the crash.
- Exchanging information with the other party is so vital to a potential claim on your insurance. Companies like Egenberg.com can help to guide you in this and help you to get to the resolution that you deserve after an accident happens. The thing is, without the information from the other driver, this can prove difficult.
- We now live in a time with phone cameras, so take as many photos of the accident as possible before you leave the scene. This can help you with evidence later.
An accident can be frightening, and those who are involved in one will take time to heal both emotionally and physically. It’s okay to take that time – but even better to avoid it in the first place.