What to do if you are in a car accident. If you are in a car accident, there a certain things that are good to do and certain things which you shouldn’t do depending on the type of car accident and the severity of your injuries. This provides a basic guide on what to do in a car accident.
What to do After a Car Accident
1. Secure the car – this means putting the park brake on. Even in a major car accident, a car may still have a tendency to roll and this may result in more injuries for the occupants (or for the rescuers and paramedics).
2. Turn the ignition key off – in most modern cars, all the electrics should shut down normally once you have had a car accident as a safety initiative after the car stops. However, in some cars (especially older cars) this is not necessarily the case. By turning the ignition off, there is less likelihood that a spark from the electronic egnition will cause a fire with any of the fuel that may have been spilled.
3. Have a gentle (but firm) feel over your whole body from head to toes and see that you haven’t been obviously injured anywhere. Often, after a car accident, a person will not actually notice some of their injuries until later.
4. Make sure that you can move your hands and wiggle your toes.
5. Make sure that no part of your body is trapped.
6. Have a look outside the car to see for any dangers (check for fallen power lines) – you would be surprised how many people survive a car accident only to get hit by an on-comming car or electrocuted by a fallen power line.
7. If you have neck pain or back pain – STAY IN YOUR CAR – paramedics will arrive soon and they will have special equipment to get you out of the car safely if you have injured your spine. Don’t worry about the car “exploding” or “catching alight” – it is extremely rare that these things happen, and when they do, it normally takes a while before a car will properly burn, so you will have time to get yourself out of the car.
8. If you don’t feel sore in the neck or back and you feel that it is safe to get out of your car, then by all means – get out of your car.
9. Make sure that everyone else is okay – this means everyone else in your car and any other cars or vehicles involved in the accident. Remember, you may not be the worst off… so check on everyone. I have literally been called by the driver of one vehicle with neck pain, only to find that in the other car (where no one has looked yet) there are two people badly injured.
10. If everyone is okay, exchange drivers licence and contact details with the driver of the other vehicle. Remember, in Australia, if you have been involved in a car accident which has caused more than $500 worth of damage to either vehicle, you are required by law to wait for police. You must wait for police if it is a major accident or if anyone has been injured. This is so that they can take details of the car accident and also test you for alcohol.
11. Exchange insurance details with the driver of the other vehicle and licence numbers/phone numbers/and address with other drivers.
12. Once all of this is done… you should go home and have a nice relaxing day or night. If you can, try not to spend the next few hours alone (just in case you pass out or have some other injury that arises afterwards).
13. Notify your insurance agency within 24 hours of the event, even if it wasn’t your fault, you should let your insurance company know what has happend in case there is anything else they want you to do.