Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident. Whilst you might find it a challenging time to think straight after the commotion, delayed reactions with whiplash will only worsen the situation, which is why it is essential to be prepared before it happens and know how to approach a car accident in the safest and most appropriate manner for both parties. Here’s what you need to do if you’re involved in a car accident:
Car accidents are inevitable; you never know when one might occur, which is why it is so important to be prepared before it happens. While you should already carry your insurance information, driving license and vehicle registration with you, you should also prepare an emergency kit to put in your car including a first aid kit, flashlight, reflective triangle and seat belt cutter. If possible, your emergency kit should also contain something to take photographs with, a pen, paper and a list of emergency contact numbers to slide conveniently inside your glovebox.
Move to safety
It doesn’t matter how severe the car accident is, your number one priority when an accident occurs should be safety, and ensuring everyone involved is unhurt. However, if someone has been injured during the accident, don’t hesitate to call emergency services immediately. Once you have determined that everyone is ‘okay’, move to the shoulder of the road. Providing the damage to your car is minor, move your car here too. But, no matter what, turn on your hazard lights to make other drivers aware of the situation – and prevent creating another accident!
Keeping calm when you have been involved in a car accident is far easier said than done. Restrain yourself from getting angry and shouting at the other driver. Remember, you still need to get their information, document damage and contact your insurance company, and despite your frustration, yelling won’t benefit you nor the person at fault, who is more than likely to feel just as angry. At the very least, make sure you note down their name, address, phone number, model and make of the car, license plate number, insurance carrier and insurance policy number. And if you can, their email address!
It’s easy to think that you won’t forget what you just witnessed, but in amongst the madness, it’s easy to let the vital details slip your mind. Taking photographs at the scene of the accident and damage to your vehicle, as well as damage to their vehicle, will ensure you have hard evidence against your case. When you get the chance, in as much detail as possible, note down exactly what happened so you can hand over an accurate report to the police.
Speak to a Doctor
You might feel fine after an accident, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. A number of car accident injuries may be hidden to the human eye, or symptoms don’t begin to show until a few days after the collision. As soon as you start to experience neck pain, headaches, tenderness, tingling, dizziness or fatigue, you should get yourself checked out and arrange to speak to your doctor.