With winter knocking down the door, it’s a good time for us to talk about accidents and what to do if you get in one.

It can happen to anyone at any time. You could hit a rough patch of ice, a deer could jump out from the side of the road, or another motorist could swerve into you.  It can be in the morning or it could be at night.

Most of us have been in a car accident at some point in our lives, but have you ever looked back and wondered if you remembered what you should do when you get into one?

When I was a young driver, I remember my parents telling me if I ever got into a car accident, the number one thing you should do is to call 911. That still holds true, but there are a few other things you can do to help yourself and the process:
  1. Call 911: Even if you aren’t sure anyone is hurt, always make sure it’s documented by the authorities to protect you as well as the other people involved.
  2. Stop your vehicle and get out (assuming it’s safe to do so):  Check to make sure it’s safe first (especially if you are in the middle of a busy street or on the freeway). Set your brake, turn off the engine, and get out of the car. If it’s dark out or the weather is bad, consider pulling out a roadside flare if you have one to alert other drivers of the incident.
  3. Check on everyone involved: Make sure no one is hurt and if they are, let them know that the police are on the way to help.
  4. Gather Information:  It’s so important to exchange information with the other driver.  This will help when the police arrive and if you need to file a claim with your insurance agency. You will want to get:
    • Driver and passenger names
    • License plate numbers
    • Insurance info
    • Makes and models of the vehicles
    • Contact info for any eye witnesses
    • Location of the accident
    • Name and badge number of the responding police officer
  5. Document the scene: Depending on the severity of the accident, you may not have time to do this, but if you can use your smart phone to take photos of the accident, the scene, and any damage to the vehicles involved.
  6. File an insurance claim:One of the last things you will do is file a claim with your insurance using all of the information you collected.  
Once you have filed a claim with your insurance agency, it’s your right to take your car where you want to get it fixed. You also have the right to get a quote from anyone you want. 

At Oakdale Collision Center, we can work directly with your insurance company on the claim, the amount, and get it fixed- all so you don’t have to worry.