In 2021, motor vehicle accidents killed 42,939 and injured 2,497,657 people, and non-fatal, police-reported accidents totaled 6,063,428. If you are like much of the U.S. population, you drive somewhere every day, whether you go to and from work, take your children to school or run other errands.
If you have never been in a car accident before, and even if you have, you can become disoriented, anxious and scared. Therefore, these are some steps you should take if you ever get into an accident.
Take a few minutes
First, take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed. It may take a few minutes to calm yourself and become aware of your surroundings. Then check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Contact the police, or call 911 if you or your passengers received any injuries.
Move out of traffic
If your car still starts and is in traffic, consider moving it to the side of the road. Do not leave the accident site, and take photos of the accident before you move it.
Once you are out of traffic, start gathering evidence. Take photos of the accident scene and any injuries you and your passengers received. Exchange insurance, contact and vehicle information with other drivers, and get contact information from the witnesses and officers. Write down the accident location and your version of what happened.
Get checked out
If you are not treated at the scene, get to the doctor’s office or hospital. You may have injuries you do not feel due to your increase in adrenaline. It is always better to find and treat them early.
It is always best if you protect yourself and prepare for possible traumatic incidents, such as motor vehicle accidents.