For most people, entering a vehicle does not bring with it the idea that one will inevitably crash. Positive or even routine thought may concede the possibility that a collision could occur, but that’s such a low chance.
In this way collisions are like fires or earthquakes: they require constant vigilance. That we might end up in a head-on, t-bone, or flipped vehicle collision should be taken with the same level of seriousness as surviving an earthquake or escaping a house fire.
However, where other disasters have their own slogans like “stop, drop and roll” or “drop, cover and hold on,” no such slogan exists for the most common road-borne disaster out there. This great conundrum presents a greater opportunity for this blog post: a chance to introduce a new slogan in the event of a motor vehicle accident.
We call it “Check, Call, Collect.”
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If you need a tow in Hancock County, then call Dick’s Towing Service today or read on for more about “Check, Call, Collect.”
Before doing anything else after any auto accident, check yourself and any other passengers for any visible injuries whether major or minor. Make sure to keep a cool head while doing so.
Ensure you and any passengers can still move away from the car unassisted. If the injuries are severe, skip right to dialing 911 immediately in order for emergency services to provide medical attention. Administer first aid with your emergency kit.
Remember to survey the environment around you before planning your next steps as well. Are the doors still working? Where is the broken glass? Are there any fallen power lines nearby? Is their a perfume of gasoline to the air?
These are all questions you should answer while surveying your automobile’s environment. Once again, there’s not point leaving the car in a helter-skelter if that only leads to more injuries. If there is a gas leak, do not light anything. Grab all the immediately important items (insurance, registration and medications) and move as far away as possible from the vehicle. About 100 feet should constitute a safe location while still staying on the scene.
If the vehicle is not totaled or a passenger condition is not too serious, move over to the shoulder to ensure traffic is not blocked.
The Other Vehicle
Once you and your passengers have safely removed yourselves from the vehicle and ensured that it is no longer in an unsafe position, check on the passengers of the other vehicle. Once again, if someone is in serious condition call 911 immediately and help administer first aid with your emergency kit if licensed to do so.
Do not worry about fault, witnesses or insurance companies at this time; your greatest concern is to ensure safety and medical assistance for anyone afflicted.
If you have not called 911 already, it is imperative that you do so. Police authorities and medical professionals alike must be alerted and directed to the accident scene as fast as possible. Law enforcement will need to file a police report and collect all information possible. Moreover, even if injuries do not appear severe, accidents can be deadly and the wounds can cause invisible scars. Concussions happen often in serious motor vehicle accidents and will require medical clearance before leaving the scene.
After calling emergency services, make sure to call your insurance agent and inform them of what occurred and that an insurance claim is incoming. Be sure to provide them with any information you have collected. They will be able to help guide you through the next steps in filing the accident claim. They will also help get you in contact with the nearest tow truck service, auto repair shop or rental company.
Finally, call your emergency contact, trip partner or destination to inform them what happened. Reassure them that passengers are safe but that plans might have changed. Car accidents can derail plans, but that doesn’t mean they have to end vacations or road trips. Working with a home base can help find alternative travel plans as well as process the trauma of the accident.
Once you have called all the authorities and updated your insurance company and emergency contact on the accident, it’s time to collect yourself and any passengers into a group. Make a plan with them to salvage and collect any and all personal items inside the car, potentially finding a rental car for the rest of the journey or a hotel for the night. Let yourselves have some moments to process what just happened if needed.
In the aftermath of an accident, you will need to exchange information with any other drivers for insurance purposes. Once again, make sure to keep a cool head while you collect the name, license number, proof of insurance and phone number of the other driver. Take pictures of the property damage, weather conditions and road conditions. Remember to also ask the first responding police officer for their name and badge number.
Ohio is an at-fault state and you will need to establish what happened with the other driver in a fault accident. Finding the fault driver can be hard as no one likes to take the blame, be reasonable and keep that cool head you have managed thus far. Accept no payment and make no side deals with the other driver. Not only is it highly suspect but your insurance coverage will figure out who owes what during the claims process.
You will need all of this information when filing an accident report at the DMV.
Once the scene is assured to be safe and all of the information is exchanged you can begin collecting your belongings and valuables. Make sure to acquire the important things: medicine, clothes, jewelry, electronics and so on. If you are staying the night, make sure to visit the tow truck location the next day to collect anything you may have missed and survey the damage with a clear head.