5 Things You Should NOT Do After a Car Accident
Unless you’re trying to score points in a demolition derby, attempt insurance fraud, or raise your national profile as aNASCAR driver, odds are, you don’t ever want to be in a car accident.
An auto accident can ruin your entire day. In addition to the inconvenience of missing work or a crucial appointment, you also have to deal with damage to your car, liability issues, possible traffic citations and even injuries in some unfortunate cases.
At the risk of sounding like a defensive driving video, here are some statistics: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were 2.24 million crashes with injuries in the U.S. in 2010. The good news is that since cars are safer than ever before, fatal crashes are down to their lowest levels in 60 years [sourceNHTSA].
Even so, most drivers are likely to be involved in a car accident at least once in their lives. You can be the safest and most cautious driver around, but that doesn’t save you from the person who careens through a red light and into your car because they were attempting to send a text message while they were driving.
After you’re involved in an accident, there are steps you must take to ensure your own safety, the safety of the other driver or anyone else involved in the wreck and that everything has been properly documented for law enforcement and insurance reasons. There are also some things you should never, ever do after a wreck. Those things are what we will cover here.
Action Plan to Deal with Accidents:
1. Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Glove Compartment. Drivers should carry a cell phone, as well as pen and paper for taking notes, a disposable camera to take photos of the vehicles at the scene, and a card with information about medical allergies or conditions that may require special attention if there are serious injuries. Also, keep a list of contact numbers for law enforcement agencies handy. Drivers can keep this free fill-in-the-blanks accident information form in their glove compartment. The DocuDent™ Auto Accident Kit ($19.95), supported by AAA and insurance companies, offers a comprehensive kit that includes a flashlight, reusable camera and accident documentation instructions. A set of cones, warning triangles or emergency flares should be kept in the trunk.
2. Keep Safety First. Drivers involved in minor accidents with no serious injuries should move cars to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. Leaving cars parked in the middle of the road or busy intersection can result in additional accidents and injuries. If a car cannot be moved, drivers and passengers should remain in the cars with seatbelts fastened for everyone’s safety until help arrives. Make sure to turn on hazard lights and set out cones, flares or warning triangles if possible.
3. Exchange Information. After the accident, exchange the following information: name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle. If the driver’s name is different from the name of the insured, establish what the relationship is and take down the name and address for each individual. Also make a written description of each car, including year, make, model and color — and the exact location of the collision and how it happened. Finally, be polite but don’t tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
For a free car insurance quote contact the Farnsworth Agency today by calling us at (541) 318-8835 or click here.