Experts estimate that there are approximately 6.4 million car accidents in the United States every year. At that rate, we can predict that just about everyone will be involved in a car accident at some point in his or her lifetime. However, most people do not know what to do – or not do – after a car accident.
When in an accident, experts advise that you should take the following measures:
- First make sure that you and your passengers are not injured;
- Move your vehicle out of the roadway if it is safe to do so, and remain as far from the roadway as possible;
- Activate your hazard lights or flares to warn oncoming traffic;
- Call the police;
- Do not admit fault;
- Exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, tag numbers, and insurance information with all other drivers;
- Obtain the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident;
- Contact your insurance company.
It is also a good idea to prepare for the worst when you take to the road. Edmunds.com includes the following suggestions for what you should keep in your car at all times:
- An Accident Checklist to use as a guide for obtaining complete information from other drivers;
- A disposable camera to take pictures of the accident scene;
- A card noting medical conditions or allergies that you and your family or passengers may have;
- A set of flares, cones, or warning triangles in the trunk of your car.