Most of us spend a substantial amount of our time in cars, whether commuting to and from work, carting kids to school and baseball or soccer games, or running around town doing errands. In a year, the average driver travels almost 11,000 miles and is in the car nearly 300 hours. And while you may be worried about tired or drunk drivers, inexperienced carloads of teens on the road, or even having to slam on the brakes for wildlife on back roads, the greatest threat to your safety on the road is one that only seems to be increasing: distracted drivers. Because of this, it’s very important to be on the defensive when driving, keeping an eye out for drivers who don’t seem to be giving their full attention to the road, and making sure that texts or calls don’t distract you as well.
No matter how many precautions we may take on the road, car accidents most certainly happen—and most drivers will experience at least a few fender benders in their lives. You may be quite shaken up should that happen—no matter the severity—so it’s important to know what to do ahead of time.
The following five tips will help prepare you, should an accident occur.
- Take time today to download the Heintz & Becker Injury Help app onto your phone, familiarizing yourself with it now so you will know what to do after an incident. The mobile app is available on both iTunes and at the Google Play Store.
- Stay at the scene of any accident you are involved in (leaving could be considered a hit and run). After taking a few moments to breathe and get your bearings, assess whether you or any of your passengers are injured. If there is any question at all, medical help—usually an ambulance—should be requested
- If the accident was minor and there was little damage, you and any other vehicles involved may want to move your automobiles out of the way of traffic, turning on hazard lights.
- Normally, the police should be called to the scene of a car accident so a report can be filed; however, if this is such a small accident that no one is injured and it does not appear any repairs will need to be made, you may not want to waste their time. In most cases, this is important though so that you can give the report to your insurance company and have it on record.
- Gather all important information from any other parties. Ask for their name, phone number and address, and all pertinent insurance information. Were there any witnesses? If so, this is the time to get their information as well, should they need to be called later regarding your case.
- Document everything possible with pictures, assuming you have a smartphone handy. Take pictures of all damage to both cars, as well as stop lights, signs indicating an intersection, and anything you think might be useful later. Snap a picture of the other vehicle’s license plate also.
If you have been seriously hurt, you may be left dealing with questions, the insurance company, hospital bills, and more. While you might be tempted to try to handle everything on your own, a personal injury firm like Heintz & Becker will be able to help you with any legal needs and compensation that you may be owed from your insurance company. Our firm will offer you hands-on representation directly from an experienced attorney.
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.