Drivers across the Nation don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “I think I will go out and get into my car and have a traffic accident that will result in several thousands of dollars in property damages, injuries and maybe even totaling my vehicle?”
Of course not! But traffic accidents are a fact of life across all 50 states. It’s estimated that almost 16 thousand traffic accidents daily across the USA. Those accidents include everything from fatal accidents to those involving only injuries and property damage.
While traffic accidents can’t be fully avoided there are a few solid suggestions to reduce the chances of an accident.
- Situational Awareness – Drivers should always know what’s behind their vehicle and on the sides and check their vehicle’s mirrors often.
- Keep Them Moving – … Your eyes that is. Drivers shouldn’t focus on one object only but should scan the road in front of them so they can see trouble before it happens.
- Better to be Seen and Heard – Honk when necessary and avoid another car’s blind spot at all times and always use a turn signal to let other drivers know when you’re turning.
- Always Have An Alternate – Driving defensively means always anticipating trouble and leaving a way out of trouble by following the two-second rule which states that drivers should stay two second behind the vehicle directly in front of them.
- Don’t Cry and Drive – Avoid driving when stressed, angry or severe sadness which can make drivers take their focus off the road leading to a car accident.
- Keep Them Clean – Not being able to see because of dirty window or mirrors could lead to an accident. Investing a few dollars in some glass cleaner could save thousands of dollars down the road.
Short of not driving at all, a driver can do everything possible to avoid a car accident and it may still happen.
And while nobody can be fully prepared for the event itself, knowing what to do when a car accident occurs can help drivers handle the stress and shock that accompany such a traumatic event better. Additionally, drivers that don’t follow their insurance policy’s procedures for handling an accident could result in thousands of dollars in out-of- pocket expenses or even having their insurance claim denied after an auto accident.
So getting all the pertinent information if a car accident occurs will make a make difference in getting a successful resolution to an auto insurance claim. The tips below can help.
- Back Up Your Memory – Don’t rely solely on what you think happened or what you think you saw. Having a cheap or disposable camera in the car can help you document more accurately what occurred. A notebook and something to write with are very useful for writing down any relevant details while accident diagrams are helpful for drawing out what happened.
- Who and What – Write down the names and contact information of any all witnesses, including the other driver. Very important to jot down the other relevant information like the other motorist’s insurance policy number, license number, license plates, car type, etc.
- Get medical attention if anyone is injured and contact law enforcement and the auto insurance company without delay to file the corresponding reports.
One of the big questions when an accident happens is should the car be moved? The answer here depends on a couple of factors. If the accident was minor and the car drivable and nobody was seriously injured, then it is suggested to move the car out of traffic, keeping in mind to always maintain situational awareness.
For example, ensure the vehicles are not moved into any blind spots and vehicles remain visible. If it’s dark, employ flares or other warning signals to keep the cars visible to other traffic in high traffic areas, it would also be wise to keep some distance from the parked vehicles until help arrives or the gathering of insurance information is completed.
If the accident is major and the vehicle can’t be driven and there are serious injuries then leave the vehicle where it is even if it causes a traffic jam. Call for assistance immediately and keep calm in order to provide emergency personnel details of the location. Another reason for leaving the vehicles in place is that police will have a better picture for the required police report and investigation.
So while traffic accidents are some of the most traumatic events a person can experience, drivers should always to strive for situational awareness, and remember to keep their cool and remain calm.