What To Do When You Get In An Accident

Getting in an accident is a traumatic experience whether it was your fault or not. To take the guessing out of such a stressful situation, Jalopnik readers have a to-do checklist for when it happens.

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What To Do When You Get In An AccidentS

10.) Stay calm

Suggested By: cjcz92

Why: Do not panic. You'll probably be furious/terrified/mortified because you were rear-ended/t-boned/at fault. However, you don't want to make a bad day worse by getting slapped with an assault charge after you punch the other guy in the face.

Photo Credit: David Fulmer

What To Do When You Get In An AccidentS

9.) Make sure everyone is ok

Suggested By: Superkiwizorro

Why: This is the first thing you should do when you talk to your passengers or get out of the car. If anyone is not alright, call an ambulance.

Photo Credit: Rian Castillo

What To Do When You Get In An Accident

8.) Pull off the road

Suggested By: Demon-Xanth

Why: First of all, you don't want to be causing any more accidents, which is especially likely if you're on a busy road or around a blind curve. And as a bonus, you won't be contributing to any additional traffic by blocking the road or reducing the number of available lanes.

Photo Credit: Taffy van Doorn

What To Do When You Get In An AccidentS

7.) Turn off the engine

Suggested By: SteetsideStig

Why: Reader SteetsideStig points out, "fire is always a risk." As highly engineered as cars are today (they're even designed to crash), no accident is the same, and you never know what is leaking or what's been damaged.

Photo Credit: Tim Pierce

What To Do When You Get In An AccidentS

6.) Remember everything

Suggested By: Earthbound And Down

Why: Remember every detail of how the accident happened, the cars involved, who was driving and what the conditions were. Memorize the license plate of the other car involved, then write that down at the first opportunity. This step is doubly important in the case of a hit and run.

Photo Credit: John Shappell

What To Do When You Get In An AccidentS

5.) Call the cops

Suggested By: Proud to drive a beater.

Why: When it comes time for the insurance companies to duke it out, you'll want a police report on your side saying that the other guy was following too closely or something equally damning.

Photo Credit: Chris Yarzab

What To Do When You Get In An AccidentS

4.) Take pictures, collect evidence, find witnesses

Suggested By: Super Fluke

Why: As a Jalopnik reader you'll likely have little trouble identifying the make and model of the cars involved, but take pictures to have proof of what happened. If possible, find someone who saw what happened to back up your claims.

Photo Credit: Yorkali Walters

What To Do When You Get In An Accident

3.) Don't admit fault

Suggested By: Chairman Kaga

Why: Let the insurance companies figure it out. That's their job. It might seem pretty clear to you that you caused the accident, but if you can get off with a "Not at Fault" mark on your record instead, why not shoot for it?

Photo Credit: obeck

What To Do When You Get In An AccidentS

2.) Trade information

Suggested By: 404 Name not found

Why: Getting the other driver's name, insurance information, license plate number, and make and model is a good idea. Do be advised, however, that under no circumstances is it necessary for you to show them your driver's license, thus giving away your date of birth, home address, etc. The other driver has no need for this information, and if they're mad at you, there's a good chance you don't want them to have it.

Photo Credit: Chandra Marsono

What To Do When You Get In An AccidentS

1.) Call your insurance company

Suggested By: killerkoolaid37

Why: This is the last step, because obviously you don't care about your insurance company as much as you do the safety of other humans or the sanctity of your car. However, it is a good idea to let them know, as they'll be the ones giving you the money to get your car rolling again. And then jacking up your monthly costs to cover that one-time payment. Not fun, but usually necessary.

Photo Credit: Rian Castillo