Driving always comes with risks. In last week’s article, we talked about roadside emergencies when your car breaks down. This week we’re covering collisions, and what to do to keep yourself and others as safe as possible after a collision happens. 

1. Stay Calm 

Again, the first step in an emergency is to stay calm. Whether you were just rear-ended at a low speed or involved in a multi-car collision on the freeway, you’ll go through many different emotions ranging from anger to panic. And that’s understandable! However, it’s important to stay as calm as possible so you can assess the situation and determine your next steps. 

2. Hazards 

Immediately following a collision, always, always, always put on your hazards. This lets other cars on the road know that you are experiencing a problem and alerts them to slow down and move around you. Having your hazard lights flashing also makes your vehicle more visible, which will help keep you and everyone else safe when you try to move your car to the side of the road.  

3. Check-In 

Are you or your passengers injured? Is your car still in the middle of the road? Can your vehicle move at all? 

No matter the speed at which the collision happens, do a quick check to assess the situation. If anyone is seriously hurt, that should always be your first priority. Immediately call 911 to get help. The operator will then be able to walk you through what you should do next, whether it’s moving your vehicle out of the road, or helping the injured person until help arrives. 

4. Steer It & Clear It 

If no one is seriously injured and your vehicle can move, slowly steer it towards the side of the road and out of the way of traffic. This will help reduce the risk of further collisions and will increase safety for both you and emergency responders when they arrive.  

5. Call for Help 

If you have not yet called for help, do so once you are safely on the side of the road. In the event of a collision, you should always call the police to help assess the situation and file an incident report. Collisions are rarely a complete accident, so the police will also likely issue a ticket to the driver who was determined to have broken a law and caused the incident.  

Additionally, they will help you call for a tow and clean up any debris in the road that could be a hazard to other vehicles.  

6. DO NOT Get Out of the Vehicle 

Whether you were able to safely move to the side of the road, or your vehicle is disabled in the middle of the road, NEVER get out of your car after a collision.  Your car is the safest place to be because it offers protection just in case another driver is distracted and collides with you while your vehicle is disabled. Stay in your vehicle until emergency services arrive and tell you otherwise. 

7. Exchange Information 

Okay, no one is hurt, you’re off the road, and the police have arrived. Now is the time that you can exchange information with the other driver. It’s important to get the other driver’s name and contact information, as well as who their insurance company is and that phone number. This will help when you are filing a claim with your own insurance company, as they will want to talk to the other driver and any witnesses during their investigation. 

The officer on scene will also file an incident report, which your insurance will need for the claim. If the officer doesn’t provide you with the case number before leaving the scene, be sure to ask for it for your records. 

Final Thoughts 

A lot can happen in a collision, and every situation will be different. The important thing to remember is that your safety and the safety of others in your vehicle AND on the road is always a priority. Stay calm, call for help, and move your vehicle out of the road if possible.  

We always hope a collision won’t happen, but they do, so it’s better to be prepared and understand how to stay safe while on the road. 

Disclaimer: 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you should speak to a medical professional.

Driving always comes with risks. In last week’s article, we talked about roadside emergencies when your car breaks down. This week we’re covering collisions, and what to do to keep yourself and others as safe as possible after a collision happens. 

1. Stay Calm 

Again, the first step in an emergency is to stay calm. Whether you were just rear-ended at a low speed or involved in a multi-car collision on the freeway, you’ll go through many different emotions ranging from anger to panic. And that’s understandable! However, it’s important to stay as calm as possible so you can assess the situation and determine your next steps. 

2. Hazards 

Immediately following a collision, always, always, always put on your hazards. This lets other cars on the road know that you are experiencing a problem and alerts them to slow down and move around you. Having your hazard lights flashing also makes your vehicle more visible, which will help keep you and everyone else safe when you try to move your car to the side of the road.  

3. Check-In 

Are you or your passengers injured? Is your car still in the middle of the road? Can your vehicle move at all? 

No matter the speed at which the collision happens, do a quick check to assess the situation. If anyone is seriously hurt, that should always be your first priority. Immediately call 911 to get help. The operator will then be able to walk you through what you should do next, whether it’s moving your vehicle out of the road, or helping the injured person until help arrives. 

4. Steer It & Clear It 

If no one is seriously injured and your vehicle can move, slowly steer it towards the side of the road and out of the way of traffic. This will help reduce the risk of further collisions and will increase safety for both you and emergency responders when they arrive.  

5. Call for Help 

If you have not yet called for help, do so once you are safely on the side of the road. In the event of a collision, you should always call the police to help assess the situation and file an incident report. Collisions are rarely a complete accident, so the police will also likely issue a ticket to the driver who was determined to have broken a law and caused the incident.  

Additionally, they will help you call for a tow and clean up any debris in the road that could be a hazard to other vehicles.  

6. DO NOT Get Out of the Vehicle 

Whether you were able to safely move to the side of the road, or your vehicle is disabled in the middle of the road, NEVER get out of your car after a collision.  Your car is the safest place to be because it offers protection just in case another driver is distracted and collides with you while your vehicle is disabled. Stay in your vehicle until emergency services arrive and tell you otherwise. 

7. Exchange Information 

Okay, no one is hurt, you’re off the road, and the police have arrived. Now is the time that you can exchange information with the other driver. It’s important to get the other driver’s name and contact information, as well as who their insurance company is and that phone number. This will help when you are filing a claim with your own insurance company, as they will want to talk to the other driver and any witnesses during their investigation. 

The officer on scene will also file an incident report, which your insurance will need for the claim. If the officer doesn’t provide you with the case number before leaving the scene, be sure to ask for it for your records. 

Final Thoughts 

A lot can happen in a collision, and every situation will be different. The important thing to remember is that your safety and the safety of others in your vehicle AND on the road is always a priority. Stay calm, call for help, and move your vehicle out of the road if possible.  

We always hope a collision won’t happen, but they do, so it’s better to be prepared and understand how to stay safe while on the road. 

Disclaimer: 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you should speak to a medical professional.

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