In the old days of the horse and buggy, accidents usually meant losing a wheel or running after your horses. If anything else happened, a simple “I’m sorry,” and “Let me help you fix that,” usually sufficed. As time progressed, our forms of travel morphed into cars and with each decade, they got faster and more comfortable.
This is great for sales, but not always wonderful for safety. Because of that, most states face thousands of accidents a year. Unfortunately, hundreds of them are fatal and most include injuries to some degree. Almost all of them happen because of preventable causes. Either way, if this tragedy befalls you, there are some things that should be instantly on your to do list. Below are three of them.
You and your honey are headed home from a get together with your friends. It’s 2 am, 40 degrees outside, and you are exhausted, but you’re almost home. Cruise control is making sure it’s quick. Unfortunately, just before your exit, the exhaustion takes over and you fall asleep for just a couple of seconds.
The rumble of the car on the grass wakes you up, you over correct, and the rest is history. As soon as the car stops moving, if you are able to, make sure the engine is off and that your car is not capable of being in motion. Put it in park or make sure to pull the emergency brake.
Afterwards, you and anyone who can, get out of the car and move it to a safe area, if possible. This can keep other vehicles from running into it accidentally and making a bad problem worse. If you have any safety gear, like flares or reflectors, now would be the time to use them.
Call the Police
Your next step is to call the police to the scene. If there are people involved who are injured, make sure to call 911. Even someone who is just dizzy may need to be looked at. A simple concussion can cause all kinds of problems if not taken care of properly. When the cops arrive, make sure to tell them every detail you can think of, but don’t spend time attempting to judge whose fault it is.
That responsibility belongs to the authorities involved. In some cases, such as the case where there are no injuries, the police may not have the manpower to spend to take a report on your accident. If that is the case, you can also make a report with your local DMV.
Lastly, make sure to document everything. The more details you can include about the accident and the consequences of it, the better.
You should include: everyone’s names, license plate numbers, the name and badge numbers of the authorities involved, where the accident occurred, makes and models of all vehicles involved, and everyone’s contact and insurance information.
You should also include a description of the damage to both cars and list any and all injuries you can identify. Now is the perfect time to take pictures of the damage to your car, yourself, and your passengers. These will help your insurance attorney in the claim process.
Vehicle accidents are not the most exciting thing in the world to look forward to, but they do happen. Make sure that you are prepared with the knowledge of how to handle one if it happens to you.