Being involved in an auto accident can be a very frightening experience. You might find that you are physically injured as well as emotionally distressed, and this can be a very unpleasant situation.
When you have been involved in a road accident it is natural that you may be deterred from driving for a while. You may have negative feelings regarding road safety and therefore be reluctant to get back in the driving seat. Although this is understandable, it can cause complications in your life, especially if you usually drive to and from your job.
Knowing what to do after an auto accident (and following this protocol closely) can help you to reduce the impact of a collision on your life. When you know exactly what to do, you may find that your stress levels are reduced and that you are more confident to return to driving.
Causes of Road Accidents
There are many different reasons why accidents take place on the roads.
Data shows that more than 38,000 people die every year in the US from road accidents. Globally this figure is much larger, with 1.35 million people around the world dying in vehicle collisions each year.
In addition to this high number of fatal crashes, more than four million people in the US alone require medical attention from road accidents every year. Globally, this figure is closer to 50 million people.
There are many common causes of these incidents, including:
• Being distracted while driving
• Driving above the speed limit
• Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Deliberately driving recklessly
• Driving in poor weather conditions
It is up to each and every road user to reduce the chance of these accidents happening by driving as safely as possible at all times.
After an Accident
Once you have dealt with the immediate concerns of an incident on the road, you will likely need to have your vehicle looked at by a professional. There might be obvious issues that need fixing, but there could also be new problems from the crash that are not yet visible.
Where you decide to take your vehicle to be inspected will depend on where you are in the country. AXIOM has a trusted auto body shop in Fort Collins for those in the Northern Colorado, a second auto body shop and State Farm’s preferred shop in the Denver Metro area, and a third location for collision repair in Colorado Springs for those in south Colorado.
During an Accident
Before you even start to think about getting your vehicle fixed, you will have to assess the scene and act quickly.
The first step is to turn your vehicle off and to take a deep breath. You should then exit your vehicle (if it is safe to do so) and see if anyone else is injured. If so, dial 911 immediately and explain the situation.
If there is a risk that the situation could become worse, then you will want to alert other drivers to the possible danger. This is all the more important if you are involved in a crash at night. Make sure you light the scene as well as you can and ensure you are personally visible at all times. Hold a flashlight in your hands if possible but do not dazzle other road users. Also, do not stand in the road as you are putting yourself and other drivers at further risk.
If nobody is injured, it is still a good idea to call the police and report that the accident has taken place. You might find that this is a necessary step to take if you later try to claim on your auto insurance policy.
You will want to give the police an accurate description of exactly what happened. This involves being entirely truthful if the accident was your fault. You should also take photos at the scene before anything gets altered or cleaned up.
Make sure that you get the contact details of anyone else who has been involved, as well as the contact details of any witnesses who saw what happened. It is very important that you do this if the police are not in attendance. If you fail to get accurate contact details, then your insurance company may not be able to validate your claim and you will be personally financially liable.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If there is damage to your vehicle, or you have caused damage to another vehicle, then you will need to contact your insurance company.
You will need to explain the incident in full and provide all of the evidence that you have gathered. You may be required to submit a police report, so it is important that you do not forget to report the incident to the police.
If your claim is approved, then your insurance company will release the funds to you when appropriate.
Following all of these steps will put your mind at rest and you can get back to normal as soon as possible.