At some time or another, you may find yourself faced with what to do during a minor car crash. Don’t panic. While an unexpected auto collision can wrattle the nerves of even the most experienced drivers, remain calm and think through these helpful steps.
- Move your vehicle to the side of the road or out of busy intersections. If for whatever reason your vehicle is disabled, turn on your hazard lights immediately to alert other drivers.
- Turn off your vehicle. Shift to park and make sure you are safe to exit your vehicle.
- Assess for possible injuries. Are you injured? Are any passengers? Check on the other vehicle(is) involved as well. Some care injured do not fully materialize till hours after a collision, so don’t take dizziness or joint stiffness lightly. Call 911 if anyone is believed to be hurt.
- Call the police. If the police have not already been called, do so. Indicate your location and request assistance in filing a report. Filing a police report will help insurance companies correctly process claims. Police will determine who and if anyone is at fault for the mishap and act neutrally to document the scene.
- Request the other parties information.Be as detailed and respectful as possible when writing notes and obtaining information. Request the following:
- Full names of drivers and passengers
- License plate number
- Drivers license number
- Makes/models of vehicle(s)
- Phone numbers (eyewitness too if available)
- Insurance carrier
- Name and badge number of police officer
- Police report number
- Check for damage. Assess for visible damage to your vehicle. Snap pictures of everything, including the scene itself. It’s also suggested that you take photos of the street signs nearby.
- File your claim with your insurance. It’s best to contact your insurance company shortly after the incident. They will want to obtain the police report and other information related to the collision.
Stay calm and remember these basic steps if you find yourself in a minor car crash. Don’t beat yourself up about it either. The majority of people on the road have or will experience a minor car crash at some point in their life — it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference!