A car accident can be a dangerous and critical experience for a person and their family. Here are a few tips that should be considered if you ever find yourself in that kind of situation.
Prevention is the best protection
- It is important to be alert and focused on the road. Under no circumstances should you be distracted by factors such as your cell phone, fatigue or any activities that can wait until after you have stopped the car. Also, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.
- Before leaving on a journey that you may be unfamiliar with, it is a good idea to plan your route and make note of any potential impediments in the news such as road blocks, current accidents, weather or traffic congestion that may affect the journey. This also reduces the chance of being lost or having to detour and thus, the amount of time driving.
- An emergency road kit in your car can be an invaluable tool to protect you or your family if you are ever stuck on the road or if you get into an accident. Some items for your kit should include:
- First aid kit - Compact fire extinguisher - Warning light, hazard triangle or flares (to warn motorists ahead of time that you are stuck, especially at night.) - Tire gauge, jack and lug wrench, tire sealant, spare fuses, portable, battery booster or jumper cables - Flashlight - Gloves, hand cleaner and clean rags - Disposable flash camera (to ensure you can get visual records in an accident) - $20 in small bills and change - Pen and paper - Roadside assistance number - Rain poncho and blanket
After an accident
- Remain calm and stay put. DO NOT flee from an accident.
- Move your car out of the way if the car is in a high traffic area unless the car is so badly damaged that it cannot be moved out.
- Check yourself and your passengers. If anyone needs medical assistance, call 000 immediately and give the exact location and details of the accident and injuries.
- Do not admit fault. The circumstances can bring a high amount of stress and you may blurt out something inaccurate that may later be used against you.
- Warn other motorists by using flares, hazard triangles or your car’s hazard lights. If possible, you may also lift your hood so other motorists can see your situation and steer clear of you.
- Exchange information with the other driver including names, addresses, contact numbers, date of birth, driver’s license numbers of all drivers, names and addresses of witnesses, insurance company information, license plate numbers, and the car year, make and model.
- Draw a detailed diagram of the accident if possible in order to retain information while it is still fresh in your mind. If you have a camera, take pictures of the accident scene such as the road, the vehicles, any skid marks, traffic lights, stop signs, etc.
Who should I contact after an accident?
- Report the accident to the police. Contact the police immediately to report the accident. Stay calm, speak clearly and give your location of the accident.
- Contact your insurance company to report the claim.
Nobody ever wants to be caught in an accident. However, preparedness and planning can be invaluable in preventing and dealing with a car accident. Safety for yourself and your family should always be the primary concern.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is also important that you speak with a Specialist in Personal Injury to be properly informed of your rights.