The first thing on your mind when being involved in a car accident might not be safe, calm, and cautious steps. You may be in a state of panic, anger, or confusion, and it’s easy to act uncertainly or recklessly when trying to deal with the situation. However, safety is paramount in any form of a car accident, so familiarizing yourself with the following eight safety steps is encouraged.
Step 1: Stop Your Car
It can be surprising how many people will choose to continue driving if they have only suffered a minor accident, especially if they’re busy or on their way somewhere.
However, stopping your car — in any sort of collision, no matter how severe — is a must.
Step 2: Pull Over to a Safe Place and/or Put Your Hazard Lights On
If you can pull over to a safe place to assess the damage and situation, then do so as soon as you safely can (and make sure it’s a legal place to park). If your vehicle is too damaged to be able to move, or you are blocked in, then secure your vehicle where it is and put your hazard warning lights on.
Step 3: Check for Injuries (and Don’t Move if You are Severely Injured)
Before you make any attempt to get out of the vehicle, check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If you have suffered a severe injury, such as neck or spine pain or any broken bones, don’t make any attempt to get out of the vehicle or move in any way. If you can still drive, moving your vehicle to a safe space so you can sit and wait for emergency help is encouraged.
Step 4: Call for Help
Even if you feel fine and have no obvious injuries, it’s still important to call for medical attention to get checked over. You may have injuries that don’t make themselves known straight away or be suffering from a concussion. You also need to call the police in the event of a car accident, alongside medical attention.
Step 5: Discuss Details with Other Vehicles Involved
Whether it was your fault or the fault of another driver, you should still speak with the other driver involved immediately to exchange insurance and contact details.
Step 6: Know Who Was at Fault
There may be some dispute over who caused the accident, or maybe you’re not sure whether it was your fault. This can be the case in rear-end accidents, wherein a car has hit your vehicle and forced you into the car in front. You can learn all about rear ended car accidents to know what to do in this situation.
Step 7: Do Not Leave the Scene
Even if you have called the police, exchanged details, and you aren’t injured, you should still wait for the authorities to arrive on the scene before leaving (whether in your car or on foot).
Step 8: Make a Claim if Possible
If the car accident wasn’t your fault, putting in a claim against any vehicle damage and personal injury is always encouraged to make sure you can cover the recovery and don’t have any negative financial repercussions from an accident that wasn’t your fault.