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When Accidents Happen, What Do You Do?

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Every day, people are involved in auto accidents. With more than 200 million licensed drivers in the United States, there is a good chance you may be involved in one or more in your lifetime. Before an accident happens, be prepared by creating an emergency roadside kit for your vehicle. We at AAA recommend that you have a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, and emergency flares in your vehicle at all times. In case of an accident or breakdown, you will be happy to have these items. To keep yourself and others safe after an accident, follow these steps.

Step One

  • Take a deep breath and assess how you feel. Are you injured or dizzy?
  • If you have passengers traveling with you, check in with them to make sure they are okay.
  • Call an ambulance if you have any doubts or concerns.

Step Two

  • If your vehicle is in the way of traffic, move your vehicle out of harm's way.
  • Turn on your hazard lights.  
  • Set out emergency flares, warning triangles, and roadside cones from your emergency roadside kit. 

Step Three

  • Call the police immediately. Even in a minor accident, a police report will aid in filing your insurance claim. 
  • Contact your insurance agent.
  • Tell your account of the accident to the police as accurately as possible. If you are unsure about everything that happened, tell that to the police officer.  

Step Four

  • Take as many pictures as you can.  If you do not have a smartphone that can take pictures, add a disposable camera to your emergency roadside kit. AAA members can take advantage of this Sprint cellular promotion for free AAA Classic membership renewal. Use the money you saved on renewal for a new phone with a camera. 
  • The photos should cover all angles of the vehicles and the scene itself. Do not forget to photograph any injuries. Pictures can help to speed up the claims process.
  • Be careful not to be in the way of the investigating officers. You may have to wait until the investigation is over to photograph. 

Step Five

  • Exchange information with the passengers and other drivers. This includes name, phone number, and insurance information. 
  • If there are witnesses at the scene, try to obtain their contact information, as well. 
  • Ask the officer on the scene for a police report number.
  • Write down the vehicle plate numbers.

Step Six

  • Do not sign anything unless it is requested by the police officer or your insurance agent.
  • Only discuss what happened with your insurance agent and the responding officer.
  • File your claim.

 

While it is important to know what to do for an accident, it's even more important to be a safe driver. Check out these winter driving tips from the AAA newsroom.

Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our members.  Contact us today to speak with your local AAA insurance agent to ensure you are properly covered.

Find Your Local AAA Insurance Office

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