Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What Do I Do When I've Had a Car Accident?

It can be very overwhelming when you're in an automobile accident. Collisions are disorienting, frightening, and confusing. It's important to prepare for the unfortunate eventuality of an auto accident, and by familiarize yourself with the steps you should take for your own safety and the safety of those around you. Your goal is to live through the accident, and these tips can help you do just that.

Be Prepared

Your responsibility in a crash may vary by state. Make sure you've read your state's driver's manual, and know what's required of you. You should also make sure you always have pen and paper in your car so that you can take down any information about the accident, particularly if it is with another vehicle. In some states, a collision with another motorist requires notifying the police.

Make sure you take down the contact information of any neutral witnesses at the scene. They can help verify your story and ensure that the correct circumstances of the accident are recorded.

Following the Accident

It's important that you follow these steps after you've been in an accident:

* Take a deep breath. A collision can be frightening and it's natural to be overcome at first. Take a moment to collect yourself before doing anything else.
* Shut off the engine and make sure that the car is in neutral/park with the parking brake on.
* Assess the situation. If you're injured, stay calm and wait for help. If you have any passengers, check to see if they are injured. Then check any other vehicles for any injured. If there are, call the police and EMTs.
* If you can smell gas or if either of the cars is on fire, get yourself and any other people out of the cars and to a safe distance before calling the fire department.
* If the accident isn't severe, put on the hazard lights and move the cars to a safe area. Make sure it's safe to exit the vehicle before doing so.
* Put up road flares if necessary and exchange information with the other driver.
* Contact your insurance company to report the accident. They will be in contact with you, the other driver, and any witnesses in order to sort out the matter.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3435512