Whether it’s a minor fender-bender or a serious crash, car accidents are stressful. Knowing what to do when a crash occurs can help minimize further damage to people and vehicles, and make the claims process easier.
- Have adequate auto insurance coverage. Contact your AAA insurance agent to ensure you have the coverage you need.
- Store important information in your glove box, including vehicle registration, evidence of insurance and any relevant medical information for you and your family.
- Ensure your cell phone is charged whenever you get on the road, and keep a pen and paper handy to jot down information.
- Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your car, including a first aid kit, road flares, a flashlight with extra batteries, and water and nonperishable food.
What to do immediately after a crash:
- Stay safe. Turn on your hazard lights and move your car away from traffic if it is safe to do so. Be aware of risks from other cars, fire or debris.
- Check yourself and others for injuries, and call 911 and an ambulance if needed.
- Depending on the state, it may be required by law to notify law enforcement and submit a report after a crash. If law enforcement officers do not come to the scene, file a report by visiting a local police department or an insurance agency in the days after a crash. Having a report on file may help later if a liability claim is filed.
- Record accident details, including the date, time of day and location. Don’t forget to note the other driver’s contact information, vehicle make and model, insurance company and policy number. Get driver’s license numbers if proof of insurance isn’t provided.
- If possible, take photos of vehicle damage, license plates of all vehicles involved and location of crash.
- Protect your ID. Do not give out your address or allow your driver’s license to be photographed. Give only your name and insurance provider and policy number.
- Be careful of what you say. Don’t take the blame or blame others. Investigation may show you were not responsible. Do not show your policy or share your policy limits.
- Call the number on your AAA Insurance card to report your claim as soon as possible. Give details while they’re fresh in your mind.
For more information about auto insurance, call your AAA insurance agent or insurance customer service, or visit your local branch.