When you get into a car accident, it can be difficult to know what you should and should not do. Unfortunately, many times, even simple fender benders do not work out well for either party because of a lack of communication and proper etiquette between both drivers immediately following the accident. It is important to remember these few tips when it comes to behaving correctly in the wake of a car accident. If you do, you can save yourself a lot of hassle and potential embarrassment in the future.
Do not jump out of your car and immediately begin placing blame! Remain civil, and even if you are nervous, try to be polite. Ask the other driver if he or she is alright, and check on any passengers in the other vehicle. Be sure to check on anyone in your own car first, however, and do not try to move if you yourself have bene injured. Try to refrain from saying “I’m sorry” to the other driver, as this may put the blame for the accident on you.
Move and Call for Help
If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road. If this is not possible, turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights but turn off the engine. If you are near the side of the road and can safely exit your car, consider doing so. However, do not leave your vehicle if you do not have a very safe and clear path to the side of the road. Call your local emergency number and request additional help from the police and, if necessary, an ambulance.
Politely offer your insurance information, as well as your name and contact information, to the other driver. Be sure to ask for the same in return. It is also important to take photos of the accident at this time, and to document the other driver’s license plate number. If the other driver seems irate about this, calmly explain that you are just trying to gather information. Do not hinder the other driver from doing the same.
Always Contact Insurance
Even in a small fender-bender, it is important to always contact your insurance provider as well as the other driver’s. If the other driver does not want you to do this, calmly explain that you prefer to let the insurance handle it, as this provides the best chance of a reasonable outcome for both parties. If the driver continues to make a scene about this, speak to the law enforcement that you should have already contacted, and let them know that you are having trouble communicating with the other party.
Keep in mind these few car accident etiquette tips, and you will be well on your way to safer, happier, and easier exchanges following any unfortunate events that should occur. It may be difficult to keep your wits about you right after an accident, even if it is not a serious one, so consider keeping a list of these tips in your glove compartment or elsewhere in your car to make things a little bit easier.