Accidents, whether big or small, are unfortunate events that can happen to anyone, no matter how careful you are as a driver. It might be your fault or the other drivers’ fault, but all the parties involved in the accident always suffer the consequences to varying degrees.
Having your family in the car during the occurrence of the accident can make it an even more harrowing experience even if no one gets injured. Listed below are the steps you should take if you get involved in an accident with your family;
Stop your vehicle
Do not, for whatever reason, drive away from the scene of the accident, especially if you are the one at fault. Immediately after the accident occurs, stop your car and assess the damage.
Get everyone out of the car
After stopping your vehicle, if possible ensure that all occupants are able to get out of the car safely and move to somewhere safe away from the scene of the accident.
If a baby is in the car, lift them out of the vehicle while keeping them in their car capsule instead of lifting them out of it. A correctly fitted baby capsule would have protected your child from serious harm during the accident.
However, if none of you can safely get out of the car, stay in there with your seatbelts fastened, and your hazard lights turned on
Clear the road
If the accident is a minor one, move your car from the road to the sidewalk or shoulder. This action ensures that a secondary crash does not occur due to the vehicles blocking the road.
Call the emergency services
It is advisable to call the police and report the accident. The reasons for this are that they would be able to serve as mediators if the other party is uncooperative and they can also provide a police report that will be useful for your insurance company.
You should not accept the fault or pass the blame on others before your insurer is made aware of the situation.
Also, call the ambulance, even if it seems like there are no external injuries. Make sure that everyone who was involved in the accident, especially the children, are assessed by the medical team and declared unharmed.
It is better to take this precaution to prevent the occurrence of a critical medical condition due to oversight.
Collect pertinent information
Ensure to collect vital information about the other party involved in the accident. This information includes full name, address, phone number, license number and plate number. You should also get details about their insurance company and policy.
As you receive this information, ensure to provide yours as well.
Document the accident
Take several measures to ensure that you can adequately recall the details of the accident at a later date. You can do this by;
- Taking pictures of the accident site from different angles before the cars get moved off the road
- Making a detailed note of the area where the accident occurred, the flow of traffic, the direction in which you were travelling and the traffic signs around the area
- Writing down the weather conditions, your speed as at the time the accident occurred, date and time.
It can be hard to recall how the accident happened after a while. This is why it is a good idea to document even the smallest detail, so as to refresh your memory. This information can also serve as substantial evidence in case you get charged to court.
Sometimes, victims of car accidents can be prone to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the trauma of the crash, especially if someone was severely injured.
If you or your loved ones become affected by this disorder, go for therapy. This will ensure that there will be no lasting damage, both mentally and physically.
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