Chances are if you are reading this, you are old enough to drive. With driving comes freedom to go where you want, when you want. Unfortunately, potential danger also comes along with driving – no matter how safe of a driver you are.
In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 2.24 million car crashes that involved injuries in the United States alone. Sadly, even if you are the safest and most cautious driver around, statistics show that most drivers are likely to be involved in some sort of accident at least once in their lifetime. You may be surprised to learn that the number one cause of automobile accidents is not due to drunk driving, speeding or even weather conditions.
Distracted driving – when a motorist diverts his/her attention from the road, mainly to eat food, answer a phone call or send a text message – is the leading cause of accidents in the U.S. today.
Now that you know the cold-hard facts behind automobile accidents, here are a few things you should keep in mind and AVOID if you are involved in an automobile accident:
Leave the Scene
Some people are tempted to leave the scene of an accident if there are no injuries or serious damage to the vehicles. This is actually illegal and could land you in a lot of trouble! No matter how serious the wreck looks, you are obligated to stop, check on the other driver involved, exchange insurance information and report the accident to law enforcement. In some states, failure to stop and offer aid after an accident could be considered a felony if someone is injured or killed.
Forget to Call 9-1-1
Perhaps you’ve only been involved in a minor fender-bender where no parties seem injured and you and the other driver agree to just let your insurance companies handle things without getting the police involved. This is a very bad idea and here’s why. Did you know that one in seven drivers are uninsured? What if the other driver’s insurance has lapsed or is fake? How about if one of the parties needs medical attention and has medical bills to pay. Yes, these things really happen – so be sure to contact 9-1-1 after an accident to have a proper police report documenting the collision.
Lose Your Cool
If you have just been involved in a car accident, your emotions will be running high and you may even be injured. Don’t let that cloud your thinking and lose your cool on the other driver (even if you know it was their fault). Yelling, cursing and laying blame will do no good and will not fix anything. Try to stay calm, take deep breaths and ask the other driver if he/she is alright. You will need to be in a good frame of mind to assess and document the situation, as well as describe the accident when the police show up.
Forget to Document the Accident
After you have checked on the other driver, quickly assessed the situation and called 9-1-1, it is important to document the accident for your personal records. This includes getting insurance and contact information from the other driver (name, address, insurance company’s name and policy number). You will also want to jot down the exact make, model and color of the other vehicle. Making note of street names and any big landmarks near your accident, as well as any important information leading up to the accident are good ideas. If you spot any witnesses who saw the accident occur, you will want to get their contact information as well. Lastly, snap a few pictures of both vehicles involved in the accident, as well as the crash site. All of this information and documentation will come in handy during the insurance claims process.
Discussing Who is at Fault
First and foremost, when involved in an automobile accident, make sure everyone involved is safe, stay calm and be polite. You want to protect yourself and your rights by not admitting or blaming fault on one party. Wait for authorities to arrive to officially document the accident, contact your insurance company to file a claim and seek legal action if necessary. The police report should conclude who they feel is at fault for the accident.
How Can Bumpers Etc. Auto Body & Collision Help?
Hopefully you don’t find yourself in the need for a car collision center in 2020. If you have unfortunately been involved in an automobile accident, Bumpers Etc. Auto Body & Collision, located in Akron, just southwest of Ephrata, PA, is here to help. With reliable service from technicians you can trust, you can rest assured that we will take good care of your vehicle during this stressful time. We understand that when you have an unfortunate mishap with your vehicle, it can be a daunting task to deal with police and insurance.
Our goal is to serve you with a streamlined process, including repair plan consultation, and our free virtual estimator for when life gets busy and you don’t have time to stop by in person.
If you’re online searching for an “auto body shop near me” and live in Lancaster County, search no more! Bumpers Etc. Auto Body & Collision is here to get your car back in top-notch shape. Contact us today and our office staff will be happy to assist you in the process of insurance claims, towing, or any rental car needs.