What to Do After an Auto Accident or Collision
A collision is almost always a stressful experience, but even so, it’s important to remember what to do – and more importantly, what NOT to do. Here’s a quick guideline to help you know what to do after an accident.
Before a Collision
- Be prepared with pen and paper in the glove compartment that lists any relevant medical information for you and your family members.
- Keep a bag in the trunk with a set of cones, warning triangles, or emergency flares. These can help alert and manage traffic immediately after a collision.
Immediately After an Accident
- Stay calm and check for injuries. Call an ambulance if there’s any possibility of injury.
- In a minor accident, move cars out of traffic to a safer place, like the side of the road.
- Turn vehicle hazard lights on and use cones, warning triangles, or flares to alert oncoming traffic.
- Call the police – even in a minor accident.
- Make immediate notes about your accident. Include specific damages to vehicles and take down witness information, including contact details.
- Do not sign any documents unless they are for the police or your insurance agent.
- Be polite, but don’t admit to the accident being your fault. State facts and limit the discussion of the collision to police and insurance agents.
- If the vehicle is registered to a person different from the driver, take note of the relationship to the driver.
- Don’t leave the accident scene before other drivers and the police do.