Even though we all strive to drive as safely as possible, the majority of drivers will be involved in at least one significant collision at some point in their lives. Knowing what to do when the unexpected occurs will save you from headaches and potential legal problems down the line. Here is a step-by-step process covering the first actions you should take if a wreck does occur.
Call Law Enforcement
As long as you are safely able to move and access your mobile device, your first step should always be a call to law enforcement. Having the police involved will help document the car crash for your insurance company. Stay in your vehicle if you are stuck in an area with heavy traffic. Your interactions with other motorists involved in the collision should be limited to making sure they are alright and exchanging information. Do not admit fault, even if you believe you are at fault. Finally, do not engage in an argument with the other party that could lead to a heated confrontation.
Take Pictures of the Collision Scene
Thanks to modern smartphone technology, every motorist has the advantage of carrying a decent-quality camera at all times. Use this to your advantage. Comprehensive photographs documenting the scene before any cars have been moved will later allow your insurance company to get the most accurate picture of exactly what happened. If you are not at fault in the car crash, having photos of all vehicles involved in their original positions will go a long way toward proving this in court, even if the other party or parties involved attempt to place blame on you.
If you think other people might have seen the crash, consider asking on-lookers if they would be willing to assist you as a witness. If another party or their insurance company disputes your version of the events that transpired, having a witness or two can help you prove that you were not at fault.
Get Your Vehicle Safely Out of Traffic
According to Mike’s Auto Towing, it is important to make arrangements to get your car off of the side of the road as soon as possible. This makes your situation safer for you and anyone that might be coming to your aid. This will make any interactions with law enforcement easier, as their top priority aside from making sure everyone is safe is to get the area clear and traffic moving again.
Make sure you have your vehicle’s make, model, year and license plate number ready. You should also be prepared to tell the operator whether your vehicle is a standard passenger car, a truck, or an off-road vehicle, and if you will need a flatbed tow truck.
The most important thing to remember is to stay calm. Only exit your vehicle if it is safe to do so and if you have determined with reasonable certainty that you are not too injured to move. Car crashes can happen to the best of us, but responding appropriately will allow you to get past the trauma of a collision and get on with your life.