Statistics show that over six million car accidents happen in the United States every year. Over the course of your car’s life, it’s highly likely that you’ll be involved in one fender-bender, even if it isn’t your fault. Fortunately, most accidents don’t involve casualties, only damage to the vehicle. Still, one out of three of these incidents involves injury to the driver or passengers, so it’s in your best interest to be prepared for an accident.
Pull over and stop
Even if the accident is minor or only involves cosmetic damage, never drive away from the scene. Find a safe place to pull over if possible, and put on your hazard signal. If you can’t pull over to a safe space, stay in your car with your seatbelt on. Follow-up accidents can be even more lethal than the initial accident, if the driver and passengers are getting out of the car in the path of traffic.
Check for injuries and call for help
Immediately determine whether anyone is injured. Even if injuries are minor, call 911 to get an ambulance and police on the scene. This is important even if everyone is cooperative—you’ll be able to get an official police report to show what happened. If police do respond, only discuss the facts of the accident with them—not your opinion of what happened. Comply with any of their requests for information. The police will also ensure that other motorists will steer clear of the accident site and keep you safe while paramedics attend to any injured.
Stay calm and composed
Once you’ve been in an accident, you’re probably feeling all sorts of emotions. It’s natural to be angry, confused, or weepy. Try to stay calm, if you can. Try not to engage with any other driver or passengers involved in the accident if they seem keen to get into an argument with you. There’s no reason to assess responsibility for the argument immediately after the accident—that can be done later by your insurance company once you’re all safe and out of harm’s way.
Typically, the investigating police officer obtains this information. However, if the police do not respond to the accident, you should obtain the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike. You should also obtain information about insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as well so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future. If police respond to the accident, the investigating officer usually will provide all drivers with a police report number. You can use that number later to obtain the police report. If the accident occurs on a state highway, you must request the report from the state police.
Once you’re safe and sound, you can then begin the process of getting your car fixed—a good auto body repair shop will be able to determine if it’s worth salvaging and what, if anything, needs to be repaired. Auto accidents never happen at a convenient time and there is enough stress involved with the aftermath of a collision. The repair process shouldn’t make a bad situation worse. King Brothers Collision Center has a sterling reputation for quality work; we take the hassle and headache out of getting your vehicle fixed and back on the road. If you have been involved in an accident and are in need of Michigan collision repair services, then give us a call at 313-534-8090 (Redford) or 734-744-8557 (Livonia), or feel free to request for a quote here.