With the growing amount of Nashville traffic and recent attention to the need to improve city infrastructure, it seems the likelihood of getting into a car accident is increasing with time. Unfortunately, the recent “snowpocalypse” and weather changes don’t help in making it easier to avoid accidents.
Say, for argument’s sake, the worst happened and you were involved in a car accident. Your reactions during that accident can determine if you can prevent any injuries to yourself and other drivers, or may even reduce future costs.
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY
While we certainly do not in any way encourage cell phone use while driving, it is important to have a cell phone on-hand in the event of an accident. In your phone, you should always list emergency contact numbers in case you are incapable of response. Additionally, you should keep a notepad and a pen in your car, in the event that you need to take notes on an accident or receive another driver’s information.
You should also keep a flashlight, in case you are involved in an accident at night, in addition to flares, which can be help keep you and your vehicle visible to any oncoming traffic. If you are driving in rural areas, keep water and snacks in your car at all times in case you get stranded.
TAKE THESE STEPS DURING AN ACCIDENT
If you were part of a minor accident, you should move your car off to the side of the road. This way, you and your car are not in the middle of oncoming traffic. However, if multiple vehicles are involved, be aware that there may be pedestrians walking around to survey their car damages. If you find yourself unable to move your vehicle, it is important you and your passengers remain in the vehicle with your seatbelts fastened at all times.
Make sure you turn your car off if you are unable to move your car, regardless of whether the accident was minor or more serious. Staying visible is important when an accident occurs (this is where the flares come in handy). Flares are a well understood emergency distress indicator to oncoming traffic. Three flares create a “safety zone.” But, be careful if you’re walking around your vehicle to drop them. Turn your hazard lights on, if you can. Always contact the authorities and make sure you receive any medical attention you may need.
STEPS TO TAKE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE ACCIDENT
If you are able, you will of course exchange information with other drivers involved in the accident. Make sure you take down their names, phone numbers, addresses, license numbers, license plate numbers, insurance, make and model of their car. If possible, take information down from witnesses, as well. Their testimony can be important down the line. Take photos of all the vehicles involved and any damages that were sustained. Photos of the other party’s insurance information can also be helpful, in case you forget to write something down.
Here’s a big one. Do not under any circumstance admit fault to the accident (even if it might have been). This will save you a lot of trouble and money when dealing with insurance. Call your insurance company and let them know you were in a car accident. Do not give recorded statements and do not sign any documents without consulting with a car accident attorney first.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24