The period just following a car accident can be one of the scariest times of a person’s life. Just seconds before, you were driving along happily and then- boom- your entire world is turned upside down.
In these moments, it can seem impossible to stay calm. However, remaining level headed is a must. The decisions a driver makes just after a crash can make the days and months following the accident a walk in the park or a never-ending nightmare. If you prefer delightful to dreadful, follow this seven-step guide to stress-free accident recovery.
# 1 Stop immediately and Remain Calm
Most of us realize that crying, screaming, yelling, and leaving the scene of a car accident are all “accident don’ts.” So, why is it that our first instincts after an crash are to do all (or some) of the above?
One word can sum up most drivers’ accident related responses: Fear. Fear can cause our natural “fight or flight” instinct to kick in, leading us to function in a panicked state instead of a level-headed manner. If you’re in a safe place with no risk of further damage or injury, take a minute to gather your thoughts and calm yourself before reacting.
# 2 Turn on Hazard Lights and Get Out of Harm’s Way
After you’ve collected yourself, turn on your hazard lights and move your vehicle out of the way of traffic, if possible. If the situation is a life-threatening one (fire, dangerous intersection) and you must remove yourself from the vehicle, do that. Just be careful not to put yourself or passengers in more danger by exiting the vehicle and moving to a place that is even less safe.
# 3 Call the Police/911
Don’t assume that the other party or those who witnessed the accident have notified the proper authorities. Take action yourself and contact the police through their direct number or 911. Once the police arrive, they will give you directions. Follow these to a “T” and try to remain as calm as possible when dealing with law enforcement. Because they are trained and experienced in working with car accidents, law enforcement officers can be your best allies after an accident.
# 4 Take Notes, Pictures, and Gather Important Info
While the police will most likely conduct a thorough investigation and gather facts, do not let their gathering of information replace your own. You should take notes, snap pictures, and get any needed info during this time. This way, your insurance claim can run as smoothly and seamlessly as possible and you will have all requested information on hand.
# 5 Don’t Discuss Fault with Other Parties
Part of step four will require speaking with others involved in the car accident. Although you should remain polite, never discuss or admit fault while speaking with the other parties. Even if you feel you are responsible for the accident, that part of the conversation is best had with your insurance agent.
# 6 Notify Your Agent
Notify your insurance of the accident right away. Waiting and procrastinating can stop you from receiving repair funds. So, submit all required information ASAP. Don’t let worry and fear stop you from completing required paperwork or making necessary phone calls. Take initiative and responsibility so that you can move forward from the incident as quickly as possible.
# 7 Arrange for Repairs
If your accident is more than a slight fender bender, you will most likely need to have your vehicle towed to a different location. Usually, this will be the shop where repairs will be made. Junior’s Towing is our trusted towing vendor for your towing needs and can be reached at 480-470-6805. Store this number in your phone ahead of time and after an accident occurs, let them know that your repairs will take place at Orlando Auto Body- located at 1007 S. Center St. Mesa, AZ 85210. We will make sure your repairs are high quality and completed as quickly as possible!