So the worst has happened, and in spite of all the great preventative safety features on your vehicle you’ve ended up in a tangle of twisted metal and deflating airbags. The first and most important thing is to get medical help for anyone who needs it. Then and only then are you free to worry about the rest of the hassle that comes with our accident. But with our basic advice we can prep you for any eventuality so that you can handle the situation with aplomb (and not panic).
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best
Even though no one wants to end up in an accident, it’s important to be prepared for the worst. Not only will this make actually being in an accident less stressful, but you may be able to help someone else some day.
First of all make sure that you have all your important documents easily available in your car or on your person any time you are driving. Things like your driver’s license are a no-brainer, but it’s always smart to keep your insurance cards (for yourself and your car) handy, as well as emergency contact information. If you can, keep a small first aid or vehicle safety kit in your car as well.
Steps to take after an accident
The most important step after an accident is to make sure that everyone is okay and to stay calm. After that it’s just cleaning up the details.
Make sure all vehicles involved in the accident have been moved out of traffic, but don’t leave the scene. Contact 911 or another emergency number even for a small fender bender, and the operator will be able to tell you if you need to wait for a police officer to review the accident. Exchange insurance information with the other person involved and don’t admit fault.
Information to get at the accident
- Name, address, phone number, and email address of the other driver and any passengers or people who witnessed the crash of all occupants and witnesses
- Where exactly the crash took place
- Photos of the damage both to your car and yourself in case you need to show them later
- Insurance company, policy number, and insurance contact information for the other driver
- Police report number, phone number, and officer name and badge number if the police had to come to the accident
Recovering after an accident
If your vehicle cannot be driven you may have to call for roadside assistance to be brought to a repair shop or a more heavy-duty repair location like the Akins Collision Center. You should then file a claim and begin the process of fixing your vehicle.