Getting into a car accident is a scary and stressful event. They always happen suddenly and can completely derail your day. When this happens, many people are unsure of what to do next, and this doesn’t become any easier when you’re loaded with stress. To help you out, here are 5 tips you can use the next time you find yourself in a car accident.
1. Get Yourself to a Safe Spot
The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure you are in a safe location. For example, if the accident happens in the middle of a busy road, you’ll want to move your car to the side so you can handle everything from a safe spot. Or, if you notice some smoke coming out from under your hood, you’ll want to immediately get out of the car and move a safe distance away. Safety should be your number one concern immediately following an accident, as it’s hard to take care of everything if you’re still in a dangerous situation.
2. Do Your Best to Stay Calm
Next, it’s important to stay calm during this entire process. Car accidents can shake us up, and the resulting stress makes it hard to operate. Before you start thinking about all the things you need to do, take a moment to calm yourself down. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this a few times until you can focus your thoughts and handle everything in a calm fashion.
Staying calm will not only help you better assess the situation but also deal with any other drivers involved. Some people are unable to control their anger after an accident, and you getting upset or angry in return will only make the situation worse. Do your best to stay calm no matter what’s going on around you or how the other drivers are reacting.
3. Follow Car Accident Protocol
With your clear mind, now you can start going through the standard car accident procedures. Start by making a phone call to anyone you might need assistance from. This includes the police so they can file a report, an ambulance if there are any injuries, a tow-truck if you are unable to drive your car, and a friend or family member if you’re going to need a ride. You should make these calls as early as you can, as it will take these people some time to get to your location.
After that you’ll want to swap information with any other drivers involved. Get their name, insurance information, and license plate number. They’ll also expect the same from you, so have your license and insurance card ready.
Follow this up by taking some pictures of the accident with your cell phone. “It’s good to have a visual record of the accident, including any damage to your car, other cars, and anything that might have caused the accident,” Denver personal injury lawyer Lampert & Walsh. For instance, if there’s a giant pothole in the road that you swerved away from, you’ll want a picture of this as well.
4. Get Things Back in Order
Once you’re done at the scene of the accident, unfortunately you may still have some things to take care of. You’ll want to focus next on getting things back in order. This could include a few things. If you’ve been injured, you’ll want to get everything taken care of by a doctor. In some cases, you may even need to talk to a lawyer after an accident. Finally, any damage to your car will need to be taken care of by a professional mechanic or body shop. To keep everything organized, it’s a good idea to make a list of all the things you need to do, then cross them off as you finish them.
5. Learn from Your Mistakes
Our last tip is to learn from your mistakes. If something you did led to the accident, you should figure out what went wrong. Did you not have your glasses on? Were you distracted by your cell phone? Were you driving too fast? There are a lot of things that can cause a car accident, but the most common is human error. The best way to prevent a future accident is to learn what you did wrong, then correct your behavior so that it doesn’t happen again.
Hopefully these 5 tips will help make your next car accident a little more manageable. It’s never a fun process to go through, but with some clear steps you can reduce some of the stress involved. Then you can focus on getting yourself and your car back in order, and get back on the road sooner rather than later.
Article Submitted By Community Writer