Nobody wants to be in a car accident. Unfortunately, most of the time we don’t have a choice and the odds are 1 in 11 that you will be in a vehicle accident this year. Obviously the best way to survive a road accident is to avoid it in the first place but if you do get into an accident we recommend that you follow these suggestions:
In the first minutes:
1. Stay calm – assess the health and safety of your passengers before you do anything else;
2. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or anyone else in your car is injures;
3. Get out of harm’s way – if property damage is minor and you can do so safely, move cars and people out of traffic;
4. Turn hazard lights on to warn other drivers;
5. Exit your vehicle safely and check on the drivers and passengers in other vehicles for injuries. Make sure help is on the way, if necessary;
6. Call police even if the accident is minor and there are no injuries. Don’t leave until they arrive;
7. Be polite, don’t blame others and don’t admit fault;
8. Take pictures if you have a camera and it’s safe (remember your cell phone’s built-in camera);
9. Exchange information with other drivers; name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver’s license number and insurance company details;
10. Ask witnesses for names, phone numbers and addresses.
In the first hours:
1. Secure vehicle for transport; remove valuables or other personal items;
2. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you were injured, even if you think your injuries are minor;
3. Write notes for your records on everything about the accident, including weather, time, location, statements made, etc.;
4. Contact your insurance agent.
5. Revisit the accident scene and take photos. Look for skid marks or anything else that seems important;
6. Photograph your injuries if they are visible;
7. Obtain police reports as soon as they are available;
8. Evaluate damage to your car and get repair estimates;
9. Contact your employer if you cannot work;
10. Contact your attorney…
Always remember that the road to recovery from a road accident begins with protecting yourself by following these two sets of ten rules.
We recommend that you have an accident kit handy in your car and keep it in your trunk. This would include basic medical supplies, a pen and paper for taking notes, a camera, a flashlight and a blanket.