When you are in a car crash, your mind might go blank, which can make it hard to know exactly what to do. By reviewing the actions you should take now, you might be able to react in an appropriate manner if you are ever in a wreck.
One of the most important things to remember is that you should try to remain calm. This can help to deescalate a difficult situation and allow you to make better decisions. You will probably be shaken up, but that doesn’t mean that you need to start yelling and acting out of sorts.
Take steps to remain safe
You can’t control where an accident occurs, so make sure that your priority when your vehicle comes to a stop is remaining safe. Be sure to turn on the hazard lights if possible, to warn other drivers that there is an issue. Ideally, you will be able to get out of the vehicle. If you can, try to go onto the side of the car that is away from traffic. This puts a barrier between you and moving traffic. If you see smoke or smell something burning, back away from the vehicles just in case there is a fire or an explosion.
Contact emergency services
You will need to get the police department out to the scene of the car wreck. You may also need paramedics, so find out if there are any injuries when you are making the phone call. If there aren’t any injuries and you are told that the police won’t come to the scene, be sure to file an accident report within the time limits set for your specific type of crash.
You need to have some basic information so that you can make your insurance claims. This includes the other driver’s name and insurance information. You can probably just take a picture of their license and insurance card, but make sure that it is clear enough to read all the information. You also need to make notes about the conditions and the wreck. It might help you to take pictures of the scene and the damage. You also need contact information for any witnesses.
Choose your words carefully
As you are dealing with the aftermath of the wreck, you are probably going to have to make statements about what happened. You need to ensure that you aren’t saying anything that is going to make someone believe you are taking responsibility for the crash. Even apologizing that someone was hurt can be misconstrued. Your job in the period after the accident is to heal and protect your own interests.