Even though the pandemic reduced road traffic considerably, the fatality rate for 2020 increased to 1.37 deaths per 100 million miles traveled from 1.11 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that the main reasons for this increase were speeding, failure to wear seat belts, and impaired driving.
The statistics highlight the importance of being careful while on the road. While many accidents are not fatal, they still result in property damage and personal damage that will affect the lives of motorists involved. Here are the things you should do when you get into an accident while on the road.
Stay in the Accident Scene
The first thing you should do is stay at the accident scene and do not drive away, even if the accident is a minor one. You should also check if anyone is injured, both in your vehicle and the vehicle of other people involved in the accident. It might have been a case of distracted driving, and you should make sure everyone is fine. Get medical assistance to anyone who needs it.
Protecting the scene of the accident is also important, especially if it happened at night. You can keep your flashers on or set up flares close to the accident. But make sure the flares do not make the situation worse by sparking something in the area. You can also hold a flashlight close to your car.
Get Out of the Danger Area
You should also move your car to the side to avoid impeding traffic if the accident is minor or you are not injured. You should keep the hazard lights on and set up reflective emergency triangles to alert other drivers passing by the accident site. But if the accident is severe, you should not move the vehicles.
You should also be cautious when you get out of the car, even if you think you are not injured. This is particularly true if the accident happened on the main thoroughfare where many cars are passing. You might be disoriented and put yourself in danger if you get out of the car.
Contact the Police
Getting in touch with the authorities is always a good idea, even if the accident was minor. When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company will need a police report even if the claim is for damage to your car.
Take note of the name and the contact number of the police officer who arrives at the scene. Make sure to get a copy of the report from the police officer. You can also request the law enforcement agency to provide you a copy of the report.
You should also collect as much information that you can get from the accident. You can get the name, address, contact number, and license number of the other drivers involved in the accident. If the driver’s name is not the same name on the insurance papers or car registration, find out the driver’s relationship with the owner of the vehicle.
You can provide the investigating police officer with the information, but you should avoid speculating. If you do not know some facts, make sure to tell the officer. You should not provide any facts that you are not sure about.
You can also gather as much information about the vehicle, including its make, model, year, license plate number, color, and vehicle identification number. You can also check if witnesses are willing to provide you with some details about the accident.
You can even give the information you collect to the expert witness assistant investigating your personal injury claims due to the injuries you suffered in the accident. The information you collect can help you in your claim and receive compensation for the injuries.
Document the Accident
Aside from collecting information, you should also use a camera to take pictures of the accident, particularly the damage to your vehicle. You can also take a picture of any visible injuries but avoid interfering with the police investigation of the accident.
You should record as much detail about the accident using your camera. Aside from still images, you should also record the accident on video. Take note of the damaged area of your car and the car of the other driver involved in the accident. You should also consider the position of the cars on the street and the directions they were going before the accident.
You should always be ready to take action if you are involved in an accident to help facilitate your insurance claim.