Tis the season for driving, driving, and more driving. Most of us understand the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and it is clear that this year will bring more driving. Before you pack up the family and get on the road, it is best to be prepared for an emergency.
No one expects the worst on a road trip, but we all know that things can happen. You will have a step up should anything happen if you educate yourself before you hit the pavement. Take a moment to read over this short tutorial (of sorts) on what to do in the case of an accident on the road.
Be prepared for the worst
Before anything ever happens, there are a few ways in which you can prepare your family for the possibility of a vehicle accident.
- Download and print out a copy of your local district’s accident report for your own use, and store it in your glove compartment for safe keeping.
- Be wise to a local vehicle accident attorney.
- Inform your family members of what to do in case of an accident.
- Always wear a seatbelt, and provide the proper restraints for any children in the vehicle.
Immediately after an accident occurs
Immediately after an accident has occurred, check to see if everyone is okay. If the accident is minor, move your vehicle to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights for safety. If the accident is not minor, stay put.
If you or anyone else in the vehicle is injured, excess movement could further complicate the injuries. If the vehicle is dangerous to remain around, get out and lie down on the ground until the ambulance arrives.
Gathering information at the scene
Try to be as polite as possible, but do not ever admit fault after an accident. There are aspects to consider that you may not know about. Let the professionals decide who is at fault.
Gather this information to the best of your ability:
- Names and contact information
- Vehicle make, model, year, and color
- License plate numbers of every vehicle involved
- Insurance companies and policy numbers for all drivers
- Names of witnesses and contact information
- Names of officers involved
Giving out information at the scene
You need to protect your identity as best as you can, even in the case of an auto accident. You never know with whom you are dealing. Only share these pieces of information:
- Your name
- Your vehicle’s identification information
- You insurance information
- Do not allow anyone to copy your driver’s license
- Do not provide your home address and phone number
What to do after you leave the accident
After you leave the scene of the accident, you still have responsibilities, especially if the accident was not your fault. Document everything during and following the accident.
You will need the names of investigators, and always write down any communication with your insurance company. Every dime spent on reparations from the accident should be thoroughly documented for insurance purposes.