A lot of time is spent in Driver’s Education class telling students how to avoid being in an accident. But very little time is spent detailing the procedure of what to do if you ever do get into an accident. As a result, people often make common mistakes that can cost them aggravation as well as money. Accidents can come in the form of minor fender benders or be very serious high-speed crashes. If you should get into a car accident, it’s very important to follow these guidelines to ensure everyone is safe, healthy, and able to get back on the road as soon as possible.
A Car Accident
A car accident is not the end of the world, but they generally come at the worst possible time. Maybe you’re late for a meeting, or you’ve had an already stressful day when somebody pulls out in front of you, or you accidentally bump into another car in a tight parking place. There’s no situation so bad that a car accident can’t make it worse. But no matter how stressed you feel, when you have a car accident you must take a deep breath, collect yourself, and go through your car accident checklist.
When involved in a car accident you should:
- Make sure everyone’s okay
- Call the police
- Seek medical treatment
- Do not admit fault
- Take pictures
Make Sure Everyone’s Okay
If you’re in a very serious accident, the first thing to do is to call 911 and get help. Evaluate your situation. If you’ve been involved in an accident on the highway, you have to consider that more vehicles will be coming upon the scene at potentially high speeds. Do not loiter in the highway taking pictures of the damage because that puts you at risk of being struck by an oncoming car. You should not move people if they have been seriously injured. The best thing to do is to get first responders on the scene as quickly as possible.
Call the Police
If the accident is minor and nobody appears to be badly hurt, you should immediately call the police. Don’t let anyone convince you that calling the police is not necessary. The police exist to act as mediators in a crash situation. You should turn over your information to the police and not to the other driver. For your own protection, you don’t necessarily want the other driver to be in possession of your home address.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you feel fine, it’s best to go into urgent care and get checked out by a doctor. Adrenaline can keep you from noticing aches and pains for hours after an accident, and you could have experienced a serious injury. You’re much better off incurring the relatively minor cost of a medical checkup than risk overlooking a serious injury. Failing to get a medical checkup can be detrimental to any legal action if a major issue does manifest.
Do Not Admit Fault
Inquire if everyone is okay and be courteous, but do not admit to fault. It’s unlikely that you have a full perception of what just happened as your perspective was limited and any admission of fault can be legally problematic. Simply call the police and let them handle the situation, it’s their job and they can evaluate fault better than either driver can.
While keeping your safety in mind, take as many pictures as possible. Do not walk out into traffic to take pictures. Try to get images of the car as well as the intersection and the point of the accident. Video can also be a great help.
A Car Accident Is Not the End of the World
A car accident can be terrifying, but it is not the end of the world. Police officers are there to ensure the safety of the highway, and they handle and assess hundreds of accidents yearly. The more quickly and efficiently you get the police on the scene and allow them to handle traffic and clear the roadway obstruction, the better. For reliable service, go to a respected body shop like Bruce Chevrolet Collision Center where we are well-regarded locally for providing fairly priced, high-quality work. In any roadside incident, always act to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you, and you’ll be back on the road in no time.