Whether you’re personally involved in a car crash or happen to be a firsthand witness, how you respond to this event can help save lives. Unfortunately, most people are so riddled with shock and adrenaline that they have a hard time determining the best steps to take. Following is everything you need to do in the moments that follow a major collision.
Make Sure That All Involved Vehicles Are Turned Off
Before exiting your vehicle, make sure that it’s been put in park and turned off. If you’re checking the condition of accident victims in other cars, verify that their vehicles have been turned off as well. Rolling automobiles can cause continued property damages and physical injuries. Running engines can also increase the likelihood of fires and explosions when gas leaks exist.
Get To A Safe Area
More often than not, the cars involved in these events are either blocking traffic or subject to further impact from nearby, fast-moving autos. If possible, consider moving to the side of the road. If there is no room or opportunity to do so, set up road flares right away. You want other motorists to know that traffic is going to come to an immediate standstill in sufficient time for them to stop.
Avoid Moving People Who Are Injured
You might be tempted to try hauling severely injured parties away from their cars and to a safer location. Whenever there’s the possibility of neck, back or other spinal injuries, however, it’s important to wait for medical professionals. If no one has contacted an ambulance and one is definitely needed, take the time to call for one. You can also try flagging down other drivers to have them place this call for you if you lack a working mobile phone.
Although you’ll probably be pretty shaken up after one of these events, you definitely want to start the process of building your claim right away. Try using your cell phone to capture images of the damages that your vehicle has sustained, the positioning of all cars involved, and the damages that have been done to other cars. This is evidence that can be used to determine which party was at fault. It will additionally create a reliable record of the severity of the damages, immediately after they’ve occurred.
Exchange Information With The Other Drivers Involved
One of the most important steps to take after an accident is to share your license and insurance information with the other drivers involved. This is also info that you should collect from these parties for yourself. If the other driver does not own the car that was involved in the crash, you will need to collect the actual owner’s info as well. You never want to leave the scene of these events without first sharing and obtaining these details.
Collect Witness Information
If any eyewitnesses have remained on the scene, try collecting their names and contact information. If you can, record quick statements from each of these individuals by using the record function on your mobile phone. Eyewitnesses accounts tend to be most accurate when they’re obtained early on.
File A Police Report
Whenever physical injuries are sustained in these events, filing a police report is legally necessary. In the interest of protecting yourself, however, you should contact the police and file a report even if the collision was a relatively minor one. This official record will serve as the foundation of your claim and can greatly assist in determining which party or parties were actually at fault.