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What to Do In Case of an Accident

It's called an accident for a reason. We don't plan on getting hit by another vehicle or on running into that tree or pole. But, they do happen, even to the best of drivers. Which is why it's important to know what to do in case of an accident. There's no use panicking, so read and memorize these steps if you ever, God forbid, get into an accident. These steps are adapted from the recommendations of the National Safety Council:

1. Bring your vehicle to a stop, and as much as possible, move it out of the way of traffic. This is so the situation doesn't get any worse by putting more motorists and pedestrians in harm's way. Turn off the ignition for safety.

2. Do a first aid check. Check yourself as well as everyone else involved in the accident.

3. Call the police, and emergency medical services, if necessary Yes, this is step three in the whole process, not step one. The absolute first this to do is to assess the situation by getting people and vehicles out of harm's way and by doing a first aid check. Knowing this information will also be helpful to police and medical services.

4. Mark the scene of the accident. If possible, turn on your emergency lights. Put our flares and/or retroflective triangles on the ground for increased visibility. DO NOT go into the road or use yourself as a way to mark the scene. If you don't have flares or triangles, then stay on the side and wait for the police.

5. Gather the names and information of all those in the motor vehicle and who witnessed the accident. Especially for the drivers, information should include insurance information and the driver's license number. DO NOT discuss fault or make statements. Simply collect information.

6. Wait for the police to arrive. After the police and emergency services arrive, follow their instructions about what to do next. They'll ask for statements regarding the accident and probably advise you on what to do about your vehicle and your family members. Make sure to get a copy of the police report for your own records, and for working with the insurance companies.

Even though a majority of accidents are preventable, they do still happen and the best case scenario is to know what to do when you get into one. If you know what to do, then you have a better chance of remaining calm and in doing what's necessary to make sure everyone is okay and that all the information is gathered so everyone can proceed appropriately.