Getting into a car crash is a scenario no one wants to ever think about, but it’s important to know what to do in the chance that something like this were to happen. At the time, getting into a minor crash can be a scary and stressful situation – which is why it’s important to keep a level head and know what the proper protocol is to ensure that you get the best out of the situation. Here are some things to do when you are involved in a minor car crash:
Step 1: Pull Over
If it is possible, pull over to the side of the road without blocking traffic. Park your car there, and put on your hazard lights to warn oncoming traffic that you won’t be able to move. If you can, stop in a well-lit public place for better safety.
If you ended up damaging a parked vehicle, try to find the owner. If you cannot find them, write a note that includes:
- Your name
- Contact information
Put that note securely under a windshield wiper.
Step 2: Check for Injuries
Even if the car crash is a minor one, you are still susceptible to injuries. You can never be too sure what the extent of your injuries may be, so if you or any of your passengers have been hurt, call 911 immediately. Make sure to not attempt to give any first aid unless you have been properly trained in the practice.
Step 3: Gather Information
Step out of the car to talk with the second person (the driver) involved in the car crash to exchange car insurance and personal information with them. You should receive and provide the following pieces of information:
- Your name
- You address
- Your license plate number
- Your insurance company name(s) and address(es)
Also, for further documentation, take pictures of the car crash scene, and zoom in on any damages to your car and the other vehicle involved.
Step 4: Acquire a Police Report
Even if there are no visible and/or evident personal injuries and just minor vehicle damage, it is still a good idea to call the police. The police will stand as a neutral third party that will document the accident. By having them present, you are ensured that all information is accurate and accounted for any future reference.
Step 5: Contact Your Insurance Company
As soon as possible, following the accident, notify your insurance company with detailed information about the crash, and if possible provide them with pictures. Your insurance company will provide you with advice on how to properly fill out a claims form, and suggest any repair shops you can visit if your car has any damage.
Therefore, if you ever find yourself in a minor crash, take these steps to make sure that everything is documented and accounted for. Afterwards, take the time to think about why and how the crash happened, and how it can possibly be avoided in the future in order to prevent it from happening again.