What to Do If You Get into a Car Accident

You were just out running some errands- grocery shopping, paying bills, getting the car washed- when out of nowhere something appears on the road in front of you. What happens next happens fast: you jam your foot on the brake, lose control of the steering wheel and hear the tyres screech to a halt. Next thing you know, you’ve gotten yourself in a car accident!

Such an experience can be stressful to say the least. Right after it happens, you can’t help but feel tense and frazzled. This is why it’s important to orient yourself on what you need to do before the actual situation occurs. Of course we hope it never does, but if in case it does, at least you’ll be prepared.

Here’s what you need to do when you find yourself in a car accident:

Move to safety (if you can)

If no one is injured, no other vehicle is involved and it’s safe to do so, move your car someplace safe where it can cause no further damage, like the shoulder. If it’s simply impossible to move or the crash needs to be investigated by authorities, leave the car where it is but make sure to switch on your hazards. Also place early warning devices if you have any to warn oncoming drivers.

  1. Stop your vehicle and pause

If your engine is still on, turn it off and set it to park or use the hand brake. Next, take a moment to catch your breath. You need to return your focus on the things you need to do next.

  1. Check on everyone involved

Check on your passengers first and make sure that they’re all okay. Next, check on the other drivers and pedestrians who may have been hurt. If someone is injured or even dizzy, call 911 immediately.
  1. Call the police

A police accident report is necessary when dealing with your car insurance company and possibly with others involved in the accident. Make sure you cooperate with the police, but avoid putting blame on yourself or others and let the police survey the scene and the event objectively. If in case the police can’t make it there, you can file an accident report through the state’s DMV.

  1. Gather information and photos

Gather and write down as much of this information as you can:

  • Names of drivers, passengers and pedestrians affected
  • License plate numbers, makes and models of the vehicles involved
  • Insurance information
  • Contact information of any eyewitnesses
  • The location of the incident
  • The names and badge numbers of responding police officers

If you have a camera on your smartphone, make sure to take photos of the accident from different angles.

  1. File your insurance claim

Contact your insurance company to let them know what’s happened. Your insurance company should take care of the rest.

Getting involved in a car accident can be difficult and traumatizing, but recovering from it can happen sooner and smoother once you know the key steps to take right after it happens.

Special tip:

According to, one of the most common reasons for car accidents, especially in the summer time are tires. A lot of people never change or check tires on their car, so they end up driving a car with winter tires on in the middle of July.  It’s important to regularly change tires (summer and winter tires), because there is a huge safety difference between these types. Each type is made specially for wheather conditions characteristic for each season. So, be careful, and always change tires!

Stay safe and enjoy your ride!

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