More than 10 million car and light truck crashes occur in the U.S. every year. Being involved in a car accident checklist, even a minor one, can be a nerve-wracking experience, so it’s important to know what steps to take after it happens.
Hopefully, you’ll never be involved in a car crash, but if you are, here is the ultimate car accident checklist to guide you on what to do next.
Ultimate Car Accident Checklist
1. Don’t lose your cool
Keeping a cool head will make it easier to deal with the accident and its aftermath.
2. Check for injuries
Check yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for visible injuries. Call 911, or ask someone else to do it if it appears that anyone is hurt, either in your vehicle or the other vehicle involved in the accident. If you’re seriously injured, try not to move until help can get to you.
3. Pull your vehicle over to one side
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), you should clear the roadway if possible. Pull your car over to the shoulder if you can so that it’s out of the way of approaching traffic. If an accident happens at night, make sure you turn on your car’s hazard lights so that other vehicles can see you. And if you can’t move your vehicle, get yourself and anyone else involved in the accident to a safe spot away from the road.
Keep an emergency kit that includes flares or reflective triangles that can come in handy for directing traffic around an accident.
4. Check for damage to both vehicles
If you’re not injured, and you’re able to assess the damage to the vehicles, take time to do that. Try to take pictures showing the position of the cars and of the damage to each car. If you can’t take pictures, consider drawing a diagram to note how the accident occurred while it is still fresh in your memory.
5. Report it to law enforcement
If the accident is a serious one, the III recommends calling law enforcement to the scene. The police can create a report of the accident, which you can request a copy of for insurance purposes.
6. Exchange information with the other driver
State laws differ on what information you’re expected to exchange with another driver after an accident. At a minimum, you would need to exchange names and insurance information. But you could also try to get other useful information, including the other driver’s phone number, make and model of the other vehicle, etc.
7. Decide whether to file an insurance claim
If you plan to file a claim, get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Car insurance is designed to protect you financially if you’re involved in an accident. Unless you live in the state of New Hampshire, you’re required to have minimum amounts of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.
Your policy’s collision coverage will cover damage to your car, while medical payments coverage or personal injury protection coverage can help cover the cost of any injuries you sustain. Your regular health insurance will help, too.
Now that you have a car accident checklist in mind, you might want to get your vehicle checked out for any damage it might have sustained externally or internally, which can turn into something even more critical. So, head on over to the Car Factory, and we will find the safest car for you. Drop in at any of our dealerships in Miami or Florida or book an appointment today by calling us at 786-406-6234.
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