Having a car accident is a very upsetting, stressful situation. Being prepared and knowing what to do can make things a little bit easier. Make sure you know which host parent to call in case of an accident.
Make sure you have all the necessary documents in your car glove box. Read this post on What to Keep in the Car Glove Box for a detailed list.
If you have an accident: (from Edmunds.com)
- Keep Safety First. Drivers involved in minor accidents with no serious injuries should move cars to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. Leaving cars parked in the middle of the road or busy intersection can result in additional accidents and injuries. If a car cannot be moved, drivers and passengers should remain in the cars with seatbelts fastened for everyone’s safety until help arrives. Make sure to turn on hazard lights and set out cones, flares or warning triangles if possible.
- Exchange Information. After the accident, exchange the following information: name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle. If the driver’s name is different from the name of the insured, establish what the relationship is and take down the name and address for each individual. Also make a written description of each car, including year, make, model and color — and the exact location of the collision and how it happened. Finally, be polite but don’t tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
- Photograph and Document the Accident. Use your camera to document the damage to all the vehicles. Keep in mind that you want your photos to show the overall context of the accident so that you can make your case to a claims adjuster. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information; they may be able to help you if the other drivers dispute your version of what happened.
Important Reminder: You may always phone the police (911) to ask for help, if you feel unsafe because of how the other person is behaving. Your safety is the most important thing.
Image: cygnus921 (Flickr)