A car accident can ruin your entire day. In addition to the inconveniences of missing work or a crucial appointment, you also have to deal with damage to your car, liability issues, possible traffic tickets, and even injuries in some unfortunate cases.
At the risk of sounding like a defensive driving video, here are some statistics: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 2.24 million injury accidents in the U.S. in 2010 alone. The good news is that cars are safer than ever, fatal traffic accident cases are at their lowest levels in 60 years [according to NHTSA].
Even so, most drivers are likely to be involved in a car accident at least once in their lives. You may be the safest and most cautious driver in the world, but that doesn’t save you from drivers who drive irresponsibly through a red light and hit your car because they were trying to text while driving.
After you are involved in an accident, there are steps you must take to ensure your own safety, the safety of the other driver or anyone else involved in the accident, remember that everything must be properly documented for safety and law enforcement purposes. There are also some things you should never do, after a traffic accident. Those things are what we’ll cover here:
Get out of the scene.
Let’s say you’re involved in a traffic accident, but it’s not very serious. You have collided with another car, but the damage is minor. No one seems to be hurt at first glance. So it’s best to walk away, right?
Not really. Regardless of whether an accident looks serious or not, you always have to stop, check the condition of the other person involved, encourage the exchange of insurance information and inform the relevant authorities. If you don’t, you have committed a crime.
Do not call 911.
Some of us may believe that if no one was injured in an accident, you don’t need to call 911 and report the accident, but that’s a blunder. If you don’t get a police report documenting your accident, what proof do you have that it happened? In some places, the police do not always respond to collisions unless there are injuries, but you always have the opportunity to get an accident report that can document the case.
Losing your self-control.
A car accident is never a pleasant experience. After this, your emotions usually affect your ability to feel and you may even be hurt without noticing it. Despite this, it’s never a good idea to lose your cool, especially with the other driver. (Yes, even if the crash was his fault.) Here’s another thing you shouldn’t do at the scene of an accident: tell people it was your fault. If you do, you are legally admitting responsibility for the accident, which could expose you to lawsuit or other penalties.