Getting in a car accident is one of the most stressful and traumatizing situations that you can get into. Around 6 million car accidents occur in the U.S. every year. Most of these accidents only result in property damage. However, one in three involve injury to the car’s driver and/or passengers, racking up a total of 3 million car accident injuries per year.
As a Wisconsin driver, getting a comprehensive car insurance plan is one of your primary responsibilities. Apart from that, you also need to be careful every time you’re on the road.
Unfortunately, even the most mindful drivers can still get into car accidents, whether it’s their fault or not. If you happen to get into one, here are the things you need to do:
1. Stop and do not panic
Even if it’s only a minor accident, do not drive away. Stop the car and pull over (if you’re still moving). Stay calm and take time to collect yourself.
2. Check for injuries
If you’re driving with passengers, ask them if they are okay. Don’t forget to check yourself as well; the shock of the accident may be preventing your brain from picking up on the pain. If someone is injured, call for an ambulance immediately.
3. Move the car
If the car is still functioning, move it to the side of the road and park it there to avoid more accidents. But if the vehicles aren’t moveable without a tow truck, get out of the car and carefully walk to the roadside. If you have a warning flare in your trunk, use it to warn other passengers of the accident scene, especially if it’s nighttime.
4. Check the other car
If the accident involves another vehicle, check to see if the occupants are safe and uninjured. Call 911 if they are hurt or unresponsive.
5. Call the authorities
In most US states, you are required by law to call the police if the car accident caused an injury, property damage, or traffic blockage. A police report will be able to provide credible documents for your insurance claim and can help protect you from fraud. Moreover, the presence of police can help prevent tensions from running high, which often happens during car accidents. You can also check what you need to do if you get in an 18-wheeler accident here.
6. Exchange information
Once everyone is deemed safe, exchange the following information with the other driver: name, address, contact numbers, driver’s license number, email, insurance company, and policy number. Keep in mind that you don’t need to ask for or give out your Social Security Number for insurance purposes.
7. Take pictures
Get enough documentation of the accident using your phone. Take more than enough pictures from different angles and distances. These will help you make your claim with the insurance company and prevent fraud if the other driver tries to take advantage of you.
8. Keep quiet
Do not blame the other person nor admit that the accident was your fault. Don’t even apologize until the authorities can figure it out.
You can never expect a car accident, so it’s best that you know what to do in case you get into one. But most importantly, you should never drive without auto insurance lest you want to pay exorbitant fees.