If You Are Involved in a Collision, What Do You Do After? A Guide for Drivers

It’s unfortunate but true: most of us will wind up in a car crash once every 17 years.

Whether you’ve been involved in a fender bender or a major collision, car crashes can leave you rattled and unsure where to turn. However, knowing the steps you need to take right away before you leave the scene of the accident, can help give you a little more peace of mind.

Here are the most important things to do if you are involved in a collision.

Check Yourself for Injuries

The first thing you should do is check yourself, and any passengers, for injuries. No matter the type of accident, you’ll need to call 911 for police services, but you’ll need to know if medical services are necessary too.

Knowing what to do after a car accident injury pays off as well. Be ready to use your car’s emergency kit to follow through with basic first aid if needed.

Ensure Your Safety

It’s just as important to know what to do after a minor car accident as a major one. For minor car accidents in a low-traffic area, you may be able to leave your car where it is. This allows the police to see the exact placement of both vehicles involved in the collision.

However, if staying put would endanger your safety or act as an obstacle to other drivers, you’ll need to move your vehicle.

For major crashes, on the other hand, it may be difficult or even impossible to move the vehicles. If this is the case, and your vehicle is sitting in a busy roadway, make sure to get out of your car if possible and move to a safe area.

Document Everything

Capture as much evidence as you can about the accident.

Here’s your quick “what to do after a car accident” checklist for the documentation you should gather:

  • The other driver’s insurance and contact information
  • The make, model, and license plate of the other driver’s car
  • Contact details for any witnesses
  • Photos of relevant traffic signals, signs, or conditions
  • Photos of both cars as they were after the accident
  • Photos of the damage to both cars
  • Photos of any injuries you or your passengers sustained
  • A copy of the police report

For more details on what you need to document, learn more here. Try to make sure you get as much of this as you can before leaving the scene, as it can be difficult to obtain it later.

Cooperate With the Police

Answer any questions from the law enforcement officer who arrives. You may also want to show any related photos you’ve taken to clarify. However, make sure that you don’t admit fault or apologize for the accident in any way, as these admissions can be used against you later.

Know What to Do If You Are Involved in a Collision

If you are involved in a collision, these basic first steps will help you do everything you need to before leaving the scene. Keeping a cool head after a stressful experience like this can be difficult, but taking the right steps now can save you many future headaches down the line.

Want more of the essential life tips you need to know? Check out our other posts for more helpful guides.