Accidents happen and sometimes driving seems like a game of bumper cars. If you’re involved in an accident, follow this car accident checklist. The first thing you should do is to make sure that no one is hurt (in all vehicles involved). In my past two accidents (which were not my fault, of course), my insurance card at the time instructed me to not admit fault and have their insurance agent speak directly with your insurance agent. I was instructed to resist the urge to apologize for the accident, even if you think it might be your fault. Law enforcement officers will determine the degree to which each driver may have contributed to the collision.
Next, you should follow this checklist:
• Call 911 and stay at the scene until police show up. They will likely complete an accident report. Even if law enforcement officers don’t respond to the accident, which sometimes happens if there are no injuries, download an accident report form from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website, fill it out and submit it.
• Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s) involved. Take a picture of their insurance card and license plate, if possible. And get a phone number and name of the person driving the car.
• Take pictures of the damages of both vehicles with your phone.
• Ask witnesses for names and phone numbers.
• Write down an account of what happened and street name. Sometimes we forget details.
• Call your insurance provider to report the claim.
Of course, you may choose to keep important emergency information in your cell phone under a file or note called “ICE,” which tells first responders where to look “In Case of Emergency.” You may also want to list several of your emergency contacts under “ICE.” This, and other medication allergies may help in any emergency.
And stay safe. If it is safe to do so, move your car to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights and put out any flares or warning triangles if you have them.
Again, accidents happen. And they are stressful enough. Perhaps following these guidelines will help you to resolve your accident and get you back on the road quickly.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Car Accident Checklist – Comedy Defensive Driving