The National Highway Traffic Association reports that car crashes happen every sixty seconds. That’s around 5.25 million accidents every year. Too many of these crashes result in fatalities, with data showing over 38,000 people dying each year due to road accidents.
Do you know what the leading cause of all these accidents is? Distracted driving. Distracted driving causes more accidents than speeding and drunk driving.
Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent road accidents and the resulting fatalities is through safe driving. By paying attention to the road, you won’t just protect your life, but you will also save other motorists and pedestrians on the road.
In addition to that, safe driving is necessary because it helps protect your vehicle. It reduces wear and tear of tires, brakes, etc. That means you will spend less on repairs and replacements.
Sadly, sometimes driving safely on the road is not enough to keep yourself safe. Another careless driver could crash into your car, for example. What are you supposed to do then? Below is a step-by-step guide on what to do if you ever get involved in an accident:
Never make the mistake of driving off from the scene of an accident. That’s considered fleeing, and it can result in serious repercussions even if you were not responsible for the accident. States like Texas can have you imprisoned for 2-5 years or fined $5,000.
After being involved in an accident, the first thing you do is stop your vehicle right away. If the accident occurred in a safe area, do not move your vehicle. However, if you’re in a dangerous location e.g., on the freeway, and you can’t move, stay inside the car with your seatbelt on and turn on the hazards.
2. Make Sure Everyone Is Okay
Next, check to ensure everyone is okay. Start by assessing yourself. Do you need emergency help? Do the same assessment for everyone else involved in the accident, i.e., any passenger you may have, the other motorist involved in the accident, and any other pedestrians involved.
3. Call The Police
Now call the police and report the scene of the accident. If there’s anyone else in need of emergency medical assistance, call the medics.
Your responsibilities do not end after calling the police. Step out of the car and assess the situation if you’re in a position to.
4. Protect The Scene
Protect the scene of the accident until the police arrive. If you cannot do this yourself, ask a trusted volunteer nearby and request them to ensure no one tampers with the scene until the police arrive.
Something you shouldn’t overlook is protecting the scene from other motorists. Switch on your flashers or set up a flare if it is nighttime.
5. Document The Scene
Although the police will collect their own evidence, it’s vital that you do the same. Take pictures of the crash from multiple angles making sure all the little details are captured.
Don’t forget to take close-ups as well to demonstrate the finer details. You can also take pictures of any skid marks and road signs present in the area.
Next, take pictures of the license plates of the vehicles involved. Take the other driver’s information too.
If there are witnesses in the scene, speak to them and note down any useful information they may have. Then, request them to provide their names and contact information.
Finally, take the name and badge number of the police officer at the scene.
6. Exchange Information
You are required to exchange information with the other motorists involved in the crash. You’ll need to exchange full names, contact details, insurance policy number, insurance company, driver’s license number, plate number, and the type and color of the vehicles involved.
7. Report The Accident
Report the accident to your insurance company while at the scene. This can help you identify any missing details you need to capture for your claim.
Next, you need the accident to your attorney. It’s always good to work with an attorney specializing in the area of interest. Not only that but an attorney who understands the local laws.
In Las Vegas, drunk driving is one of the most common causes of accidents. You’ll need to find reputable drunk driving accident lawyers in Las Vegas to deal with such a case. They’ll handle your case swiftly since they already understand the local legal regulations and court procedures.
8. Seek Medical Help
Do not resume your day without seeking medical help. You may not bleed or feel any issues while at the scene, but it’s possible that you were injured. Visit a medical center for proper screening.
Seeking medical help can also help you down the road when you’re filing for compensation.
Road accidents can cause significant shock. However, it’s best to stay level-headed until you’re done with the entire procedure discussed above. That’s the best way to protect your rights after a crash.