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July 31, 2006

How to Deal with a Car Accident

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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:
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.
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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