After an accident, your heart is likely pounding, and your hands, probably shaking. Car accidents are unexpected and often frightening. Reduce your stress level after an accident by being prepared.
What to Do
- Take a moment and breathe.
- Turn on your vehicle's hazard lights.
- Check for injuries.
- Call 9-1-1. The operator can alert police, ambulance, and fire crew as needed, as well as provide you with useful information in how to deal with your emergency.
- Use a camera or camera phone to snap pictures of the damage on both vehicles. Also, take a picture of the license plate of any other vehicle involved.
- Exchange the following information with the other driver/s; if you don't have a pen or paper readily available, use your phone's camera to take a picture of their insurance card, driver's license, and registration.
- Full Name
- Make, model, year, and license plate number of all vehicles
- Insurance carrier information
- Insurance policy number
- Get other accident information:
- Police report number
- Passenger name, phone number, and address
- Witness' name, phone number, and address
What to Keep in Your Car
Keeping these items in your car could help you in the event of an accident:
- Flashlight – In case you're involved in an incident at night or are stranded after an accident.
- Emergency Road Kit and/or First-Aid Kit – Emergency road kits typically include devices such as reflective triangles, traffic flares, or similar warning lights that will alert other motorists to approach with caution. A first-aid kit will help you quickly take care of minor cuts and scrapes.
- Insurance Information & Registration – To exchange with other motorists and provide proof of insurance to police officers.
- Camera – To document damages and injuries.
- Notepad/Pen or Smartphone – To take down any necessary information about the accident. You can also use your phone to snap a picture of the other drivers' license, registration, and insurance card.
- Emergency Contact & Medical List – In case your family members or doctors need to be contacted.
Who to Call
- 9-1-1. The operator can alert police, ambulance, and fire crew as needed, as well as provide you with useful information in how to deal with your emergency.
- Your local non-emergency contact number, if known, and if the incident is a minor fender bender.
- Your insurance provider to report a claim. Call Direct at 1-800-403-1077.