As a driver, any increase in fatal accidents can be scary. According to 2020 traffic collision data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of deaths from car crashes increased by 6.8% nationwide.
It is important to stay calm and know what you can do to protect yourself after a car accident.
1. Physically move out of danger
Immediately following a collision, prioritize your safety by removing yourself, your passengers and your vehicle away from danger. If possible, pull over to the side of the road to avoid oncoming traffic.
2. Check yourself and passengers for injury
After removing yourself from danger, check yourself and your passengers for injury. Injuries caused by car accidents may be life-altering.
If you sustain an injury, contact an ambulance or ask a bystander to call an ambulance on your behalf.
3. Contact the police for an official report
An official police report may protect you in the future, even if all parties involved are cooperative and the car collision appears to be minor. Notifying the police will ensure that you have an official police report detailing the incident.
4. Document the event
Documentation can help validate anything you claim concerning the accident.
Document the event as thoroughly as possible and collect as much information as you can about the other driver. Talk to witnesses, take pictures and jot down notes.
5. Choose your words carefully
While you collect information from the driver, be wary of admitting guilt or going into too much detail about the facts of the collision. Anything you say may have the potential to hurt you later.
By knowing how to protect yourself after a car accident, you may alleviate some of the stress involved in this unexpected event and ensure you act in your own best interest.