How to Deal with a Car Accident

Be Prepared

Keep these just-incase items in your car at all times: Your insurance info and registration, traffic cones or flares, a first-aid kit, pen and paper, and your emergency contact info and doctor's info/medical conditions. And always carry a cell phone-preferably with a camera, to document any damage.

For A Fender-Bender

Even if an accident is so minor that you don't call the police, exchange this info with the other driver:

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1. Name, Address & Phone Number

2. Driver's-License Number

3. License-Plate Number & State

4. Registration Info

5. Insurance Company & Policy Number

6. Vehicle Make, Model, Color & Year

For A Major Collision

Right away, check to make sure you and your passengers are un harmed. Do not move injured people unless you see an immediate danger, like a gasoline spill. If possible, pull over to the side of the road, then turn on your hazard lights and set out flares or cones. Always turn off the ignition.

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Call 911 to report any injuries-it's best to call even if no one is hurt, so police can file an accident report. Try to avoid a confrontation with the other driver. Don't place blame or accept it, don't exchange any money-just say you have called the police and will give them all your info when they arrive.

Meanwhile, document the event: Take pictures, sketch the positions of each car, note any injuries or damage. When the police arrive, relate exactly what happened. They will interview both drivers and file a report, which you can give to your insurance company.

Safety First

No car should be without a first-aid kit.

- Fairley Mahlum, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

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