Traffic Accident? Protect Yourself First!

Traffic Accident? Protect Yourself First!


One of the most traumatic experiences in anyones life is a car accident. Being prepared before you take to the road can help reduce the emotional toll youll experience when a collision takes place.

One of the most traumatic experiences in anyone's life is a car accident. Being prepared before you take to the road can help reduce the emotional toll you'll experience when a collision takes place.

The chances that you’ll be involved in some type of traffic accident in your lifetime are quite good, perhaps much higher than what you might think. There is a reason why car insurance rates are so high — thousands of claims are filed each day, many of which involve costly repairs, medical bills, even the payment of a death benefit.

If you find yourself in an accident your emotions will certainly be put to the test especially if a loved one is hurt and help isn’t nearby. Limiting the chances that you’ll be involved in a car accident means keeping your car in good running order while driving defensively, but accidents can still happen.

Protecting Yourself After A Collision

The following tips can help you in the event of a car accident:

Pull Over — When hit my another car, immediately try to pull off of the road. Your crashed vehicle could be hit yet again by another driver who is unable to stop in time. Move as far off of the shoulder of the road as possible; if other occupants are uninjured, have them leave the car and move far away from traffic.

Get Help — Some of today’s cars will contact 911 for help, particularly OnStar equipped vehicles which sense the deployment of an airbag. Whether through your car’s communication system or via cell phone, dial 911 and give emergency personnel as much information as possible. Tell them your location (highway mile marker, street sign, etc.), the nature of injuries, and provide answers to questions asked.

Provide Help — If other occupants are injured or if you can reach occupants of the other vehicles involved in the crash and are able to provide emergency assistance, then do what you can before help arrives. Severely injured people should not be removed unless there is imminent danger that the car could explode or are at risk of worse injury. Carrying an emergency kit is wise along with a flashlight, pen and paper (to copy down insurance information as well as to jot notes related to the accident), flares, etc.

Give A Statement — Once help arrives and your passengers are securely cared for, you’ll be asked by a policeman to give an account of the accident. If you know that you are at fault, you’ll need to answer your questions carefully, perhaps declining to respond until you speak to an attorney. If one of the other drivers caused the accident, then you can explain to the best of your ability what happened. If you suspect drugs, drinking, or other erratic behavior was involved in the accident, insist to the police officer that the other party(s) be tested.

Call Your Insurer, Get A Copy of the Accident Report — At the earliest possible moment, contact your insurance company and give to them all of the information regarding the accident. They’re going to want to know all of the particulars including every car involved (get their plate numbers), the drivers involved (get their driver’s license numbers), and who their insurance company is (get their insurance company’s names, policy numbers, and their state registrations). Obtain your own copy of the police report for your records.

Take Care of Yourself — You’ve taken care of everyone else, but what about yourself? Seek medical attention if needed and contact an accident attorney if you need one. Ask your insurance company about obtaining a loaner vehicle and, if out of town, how you can get your family home safely — just how much of the legwork will your insurer do for you?

Moving Forward

Depending on the injuries sustained and the damage done, recovering from a car accident can take a long time. Your auto insurance company may not cover all of your medical bills, but your personal insurance may be able to help out. Replacing a car isn’t a simple task either; how much money is the insurance company willing to pay for it?

Finally, if involved in an accident, never leave the scene before a police officer arrives. The last thing you want is for someone to falsely accuse you of leaving the scene of an accident.

Adv. — If you’re looking for additional consumer advice, please visit our sister site at to find information about managing your income, handling debt, and other money saving tips.


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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".