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March 26, 2024


Car accidents come in different forms, resulting in varying degrees of damage to both property and individuals. These incidents can happen despite a driver's experience and training. Even with our extensive training and experience, the risk of a collision, while minimized, is never zero. Here is what to do in the unlikely event you are involved in a car crash. 

In 2021 there were on average over 36,000 motor vehicle crashes every day across the US according to the National Safety Council report.  If you find yourself in a car crash, follow these essential steps to ensure your safety and properly handle the situation:

1. Stay Calm & Stop

Take a deep breath and try to remain calm. This will help you think more clearly and make better decisions. Never drive away from the scene of a collision, even a minor one.

2. Check for Injuries

Assess yourself and any passengers for injuries. Call 911 immediately or ask someone else to do so.  If there are serious injuries, and try try not to move, and wait for emergency personnel. Check on the well-being of your passengers. If you're not too hurt to move, check on the other passengers in your car. If anyone's injured, get on the phone with emergency services or ask a bystander to call for help.

3. Ensure Safety

If your vehicle poses a hazard, move it to the side of the road or a safe location, and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers. Otherwise, leave it where it is and get yourself to safety. 

4. Call the Police - 911

Whether an incident is considered a minor fender-bender or a major collision, calling the police is important and, in some states, it's legally required. The responding officers will fill out a collision report and document the scene. When the police arrive, make sure you tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you do not know certain facts, tell that to the officer. Do not speculate, guess, or misstate any of the facts. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure, say you are not sure, rather than no. Lastly, document when the police were called and what you were told if the police can't or won’t come to the scene. 

5. Wait for Help

Turn off your engine, and turn on your hazard lights to warn other vehicles to slow down. Only accept assistance from tow trucks you've called or those dispatched by the police. Beware of bandit tow trucks, warns the National Insurance Crime Bureau. These are tow truck drivers you didn't call who pull over and offer to help. It may be a scam. They've been known to persuade victims into letting them tow their vehicles to what turn out to be shady facilities that hold the vehicle hostage for an unreasonable payout. 

6. Avoid Admitting Fault or Placing Blame

When an accident occurs, emotions can run high, and the temptation to assign blame may be strong. However, engaging in discussions about fault at the scene of the accident can have negative consequences and may even jeopardize your ability to file a successful insurance claim. When an insurance claim is filed, the adjuster reviewing the claim will determine who's at fault based on an inspection of the vehicles/property damaged, the information provided by you, the other parties involved in the collision, and any supporting documentation, like the police report or photographs from the scene.

7. Exchange Information

After making sure you and any passengers are uninjured, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s).

Important information drivers should exchange:

  • Full name and contact information
  • Insurance company and policy number
  • Driver's license and license plate number
  • Type, color, and model of vehicle
  • Location of collision

8. Document the Incident

We all have phones. Take photos of everything. Your vehicle, the other vehicle(s), the scene including street signs. This documentation can be crucial for insurance claims. If you can, also get a photo of the other driver’s Driver License and insurance paperwork. As soon as you get to a place where you can, write down what you remember of the incident. Do so as soon as possible because memories fade quickly. 

Navigating the aftermath of a car crash can be a challenging experience, and being prepared is key. Despite our best efforts and training, accidents can happen. By following these crucial steps, you can ensure your safety and effectively handle the situation. Remember, safety is paramount, and your quick and informed actions can make a significant difference in the post-collision process.

As we share these guidelines, it's important to acknowledge the startling statistics of over 36,000 motor vehicle crashes daily in the US, emphasizing the need for awareness and preparedness. Stay calm, assess injuries, ensure safety, involve the authorities, and exchange information responsibly. Documenting the incident through photos and detailed notes can be invaluable for insurance claims.

While we hope to never implement this knowledge, being informed empowers you to face the unexpected. Drive safely, stay vigilant, and may you navigate the roads with caution and confidence.


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