The last thing you expect when you get behind the wheel each morning is to be involved in a car accident while on the road.
But for six million drivers every year – in the United States alone – a routine day is interrupted by a major or minor car accident, leaving them shaken up and trying to figure out what to do next.
The team at Sandmire Insurance Agency is here for you. We’re here for you now, preparing you and educating you so you know exactly what to do if you’re ever involved in an accident, and we’ll be here for you if you ever find yourself in those unfortunate circumstances, walking you through the aftermath and ensuring you have the protection you need.
Here’s everything you need to know and do in the aftermath of a car accident.
- Move your vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic if the vehicle is in working order. Pull off to the shoulder and turn your flashers on so other drivers can see you and there are no further impacts. If your vehicle won’t start, turn your flashers on and exit the vehicle. Be sure to stand away from oncoming traffic, either on the shoulder or, if available, on the sidewalk.
Call 911 to report the accident. Stay on the phone with the person who takes the call until he or she hangs up and follow the instructions they provide to you. The dispatcher may ask questions about the scene, have you move your vehicle, or perform other tasks.
Call your insurance agent to let him or her know there’s been an accident and ask for advice while on the scene if time allows. Adrenaline may leave you feeling distraught and shaken up, so a quick call with your agent will help you remember what to do.
If another vehicle was involved in the accident, ask the other driver for their phone number and insurance card, and share the same information with them.
Document the accident to the best of your ability by making notes, taking pictures, and writing down key information (passengers, witnesses, damage, events leading up to the accident).
Once law enforcement arrives on the scene, answer their questions, and cooperate however necessary to support the completion of a police report.
Don’t leave the scene of an accident, even if you’re worried you might have been at fault. The consequences for leaving the scene can be far worse than the consequences for reporting an accident you may have caused.
Don’t ever agree not to report an accident. Even if the other driver pressures you to forego reporting, a police report is often necessary for filing a claim and scheduling repairs and can protect you in the long run.
Refrain from sharing feelings of guilt or remorse with the other driver; blaming the other driver for the accident; or discussing how you think the accident happened or what might have caused it. Instead, keep the discussion to the most important information like exchanging insurance details.
Avoid telling the law enforcement officer that you caused the accident or feel guilty about what happened. If somebody admits fault, an investigation becomes unnecessary. There might be factors – like drug or alcohol influence, for example – that contributed to the accident without your knowledge.
Once you’re safe at home, reach out to your insurer to file a claim. He or she can help with the next steps.
To learn more or find out if your coverage will protect you in an accident, visit the team at Sandmire Insurance Agency today. We love to help!