What to Do: 5 Tips for Traffic Accidents
Published Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Updated Thursday, January 21, 2016
In 2008, the latest year
for which full traffic accident statistics are
available, there were nearly 6 million automobile accidents reported in the
United States. Unfortunately, many of us experience a traffic accident at some
point in our life, whether large or small.
You do have automobile insurance, don't you? If you are unlucky enough to be
involved in a car accident, even if it is not your fault, the other driver, or
even multiple drivers, any passengers you may have, as well as the police in
most states, will all be interested in whether you are carrying insurance.
Presuming you have current auto insurance, here are five tips for dealing with a
- Be prepared. Do you have an
insurance card and identification in your vehicle? Do you have any road
flares for a night time accident? Do you have some paper and something to
write with in your car? You should also consider carrying a disposable
film camera, or an old digital camera and separate fresh batteries in your
glove compartment in order to take pictures. Your cell phone may become
lost or damaged in the accident.
- Be safe. Remain at the
scene and stay calm. If you can, get your vehicle safely over to the
shoulder of the road. Immediately turn off your vehicle and take a moment
to assess yourself. Are you injured? If so, try to determine the extent of
your injuries. Are you angry? This may seem silly, but it’s vital to not
get out of the car until you can talk politely with any other people
involved in the accident. Do not admit fault for the accident even if you
feel responsible for it.
Do this with every driver. Get their names, phone numbers, addresses,
the names of their insurance companies, and their policy numbers. Take
down the make, model and color of every vehicle involved. Get the license
plate numbers. Take note of any passengers or witnesses present.
- Photograph. Take pictures
and visually document all of the damage to both yourself and to your
vehicle. If you can, photograph all of the other cars and people involved
- Report the
or the other driver may want to involve your insurance companies, but most
states require you to report any automobile accident that exceeds a few
hundred dollars in damage. Reporting the accident will also help your
insurance company in dealing with the aftermath of the accident.
collisions are troublesome and can take a very large chunk out of your bank
account if not properly prepared. Use these tips to help ensure that if you are
involved in an accident, everything is well documented and safe.