Have you been in a car accident before? I have, and personally, it’s one of the most jarring circumstances you can find yourself in–especially if you have passengers on-board. Honestly, it’s not one of my best days. I lost my cool instead of defusing the situation and working a way towards a solution. My inexperience showed how little I knew about how to handle these kinds of incidents.
You can’t know for sure if you’ll react the same way as I did. An instance as sudden and as stressful as a car accident can’t be expected. However, preparation is better than nothing. Because of this, I compiled an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide on what to do when you’re involved in a car accident. This is based on my experience and some advice from experts in traffic management and motoring.
1. Check for injuries
The safety of everyone in a vehicle involved in an accident is the utmost priority. So before doing anything, check if you’re injured. If you’re feeling fine, proceed to check on the status of your passengers. If you or anyone in the vehicle has been injured, call 9-1-1 immediately so first responders can be aware of what happened and provide proper assistance as soon as possible.
If no one is in shape to call for help, try not to move and wait for emergency assistance.
2. Handle the situation properly
If you’re able to take control of the situation, you must handle it the right way. How?
- Put the hazard lights on so oncoming traffic will be able to identify the situation from a distance.
- If your car is still in operating condition, pull it on the side of the road to stop interfering with traffic.
- Use your early warning device or other markers you have in your vehicle to alert motorists, pedestrians, and responders of the situation you’re in.
3. Interact in a calm manner
It’s understandable to experience shock in car accidents. Everyone involved will be in a stressful mode. But the last thing anybody wants is for tempers to flare and escalate the situation.
It is true that cooler heads prevail. If you’re calm, you might be able to defuse the situation and help the others involved collect themselves as well. You don’t want to add any more problems to the one you’re in.
4. List down the necessary details
Once your head is clear, exchange information with other drivers involved. These are the important things to list down:
- Names, addresses, and contact information
- Comprehensive car insurance providers and policy numbers
- Driver’s licenses and plate numbers
- Car make and model
- Location of accident
In addition, don’t forget to document the accident. Take photos of the damage and the surrounding vicinity. All of these will be needed once you file your car insurance claim for eventual repairs.
5. Let the traffic investigators do their job
There are times that police might be involved with the situation. Let them take command and follow their instructions. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, we can get caught up with everything that has happened that we might hinder or impede the investigation of the officials in control.
The SOP or standard operating procedure of the investigators is to take control of the accident. Once everything is under control, they will then proceed to collect details and testimonies from all the parties involved so they can book an incident report. This is instrumental to make sure that those liable will be held accountable for the accident that occurred.
Don’t forget to get the names and contact information of the investigators. You will need their official report to file your insurance claim or in some instances, make your case if it ever comes down to legal matters.
Once everything is done, it’s highly advisable that you contact your insurance provider immediately so they can help you navigate through the situation. They might be able to provide additional assistance beyond claims, depending on the policy you have.
There’s always a better way to handle a tense and upsetting situation so it can be resolved quickly and without any added hassle. To help you remember what you need to do, keep in mind to always be C-H-I-L-L after a car accident.
Also, don’t be caught with your tail between your legs being in a car accident without insurance. For fast and convenient car insurance shopping, go to https://www.ecomparemo.com/vehicle-insurance and get multiple car insurance quotes in just 15 seconds. They have a dedicated VIP concierge to assist you with issuance to policy adjustments, claims, renewal, and other special requests.
About the author:
Kevin Joshua Ng is a car enthusiast who has written for In The Garage, a trusted resource for car owners in North America. He is also a contributor for eCompareMo.com, the country’s leading and complete comparison portal intended for Filipinos looking for quick, secure, and complete banking and insurance products in the Philippines.