What to do in a Car Accident: a How-To Guide

What To Do in a Car Accident

If there is one thing that we will all most likely experience in our driving careers at least once, it’s a car accident. With new drivers on the road every year, we felt it would be a great time to review the right actions to take if you find yourself in this situation. For the people who have never had an accident, this is for you too! You can never anticipate what other drivers will do and sometimes have no control over the outcome of their actions. Here is some of the things you should know:

What should I do right after the accident occurs?

There are a few really important steps you should be taking once an accident has occurred. Make sure you take all the correct steps to ensure that things are resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible.

  1. Remain at the scene: This goes without saying; It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident regardless of fault.
  2. Make sure everyone is okay: Ensure that all parties involved are okay and do not require medical attention. If someone has been injured, call for help right away.
  3. Move your vehicles: This one is a pretty important one for the rest of the traffic, make sure that you get your vehicles off to the side of the road or to the least obtrusive place for traffic that you can find.
  4. Exchange Information: You are going to want to make sure you have all the information of the driver(s) involved. Use your smartphone to obtain Driver’s License Numbers, names and contact info, insurance policy numbers, license plates, and insurance companies involved.
  5. Photograph the Details: Take photos of all the vehicles that were involved in case insurance companies need to be involved. Also note how the accident occurred if a police report is needed.
  6. Get Witness Contact Information: If there was a witness to your accident, obtain their information as well if possible.
  7. Call a tow truck: If you need to, call a tow truck to get your vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic.
  8. Visit a Police district office: Bring your vehicle in to fill out an accident report, have an officer do a walk around of your vehicle and possibly issue a damage sticker.
  9. Contact your Insurance Broker: As soon as you can, contact your insurance broker after filling out the necessary police report. They will help get the insurance claim process going so you can get back on the road safely.


Should I report my accident to the Police right away?

No, not right away at least. There are a few key determining factors as to whether you should call the police when involved in an accident. The main ones include:

  1. There were people injured in the accident
  2. There was damage that you believe exceeds $2,000 for repair

In addition to these if you were the victim of a hit and run and there is no other party to speak with the police should most likely be involved.

What NOT to do at the scene:

Sometimes the sheer shock of a car accident gets you all fired up. Fight or flight mode is sometimes triggered but it is important to stay calm. Try to avoid arguing with the other parties involved and handle the situation respectfully. DO NOT:

  1. Take responsibility or assume the liability
  2. Accept money or any form of settlement
  3. Agree to pay in full for the damages

So there you have it, a little know-how goes a long way when it comes to car accidents. Of course, the best precaution to take is to be observant and use all your knowledge of defensive driving to avoid an accident in the first place. In addition to these precautions, if you drive a Honda vehicle the Honda Sensing suite of safety features provides and added layer of security to prevent these kinds of incidents.

Sometimes these things are inevitable, but at least now you are prepared. Need a safer vehicle for the winter? Check out our inventory: