Very few people know precisely what to do in the aftermath of a collision. This knowledge is very important. Whether it is simply a bump in the parking lot or if it is a more serious accident where people are injured, taking the right actions immediately can save lives and improve the outcome for everyone involved. The first important thing if you are involved in car accident is to try to stay calm and concentrated.
Helpful items to have in your vehicle in case of an emergency or an accident:
- First aid supplies and an emergency kit in your car is a good precautionary measure.
- Flares, a bright orange or yellow vest
- A cell phone
- A disposable camera
- A pen and notepad in your glove compartment. This will allow you to make notes.
Information that you should collect:
- The names, phone numbers, and addresses of all drivers, passengers and witnesses involved in the accident
- License plate numbers, driver's license numbers
- Insurance companies of all drivers involved
- Registered owners of all cars
- Year, model, make and other relevant information of all cars involved
- Names and badge numbers of police officers and other emergency personnel
11 Steps to Take if Ever in an Accident:
- Immediately and safely pull over to the side of the road.
- Turn off your car and turn on your hazard lights.
- Check to see if anyone is hurt.
- Place flares, cones, or triangles alongside the road to warn approaching motorist.
- Contact the police.
- Stay at the scene of the accident until the police tell you to leave. Leaving the scene of an accident can be illegal, so it is better to take a careful approach before you act.
- You can also photograph the scene of the accident so that you will have documentation about the damage to all vehicles.
- Take notes of what you think happened and caused the accident. In your description you should include the location where the accident occurred and, if possible, the road conditions, speed limits, traffic control devices, the weather, the lighting.
- Try to avoid discussing what happened with anyone else other than the police. Limit yourself in only describing facts.
- Do not make accusations, and do not say that it was your fault.
- If you have, or suspect that you have an injury, visit a hospital or a doctor immediately.
By following these simple steps, you will be able to keep the accident scene as safe as possible. Knowing in advance how to proceed when involved in any type of car accident, helps you stay calm, take the appropriate measures and make the best possible of a difficult, dangerous or even tragic situation.