Obviously, most people try to avoid getting into car accidents but unfortunately they happen. To make things worse, after a collision, you usually go into “fight or flight” mode, and clear thinking becomes difficult to do. To prepare you just in case you find yourself in a car accident, Lustine Dodge of Woodbridge, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Woodbridge, VA, helped us put together a list of things you should avoid doing.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a stupid thing to do. In fact, it is illegal in the United States. This advice applies to rather minor accidents too. If you back into a parked car or clip someone’s quarter panel, you may be tempted to conclude that “it’s nothing” and leave. However, if someone sees you or you are captured on a surveillance camera, you might get a surprise visit from the police and a court appearance date.
Leave your car in the road
Unless your car is damaged badly, it is always best to pull off to the side of the road after an accident. Don’t worry about preserving the scene for the police when they arrive. It is far more important for you and any other cars involved to pull off to the side where it is safe to exit your vehicle and wait for the police. (If you want to document the accident and it’s safe to do so, then take a snap with your cell phone and then move your car.)
Neglect to call the police
Regardless of how small the incident may be, the police should be notified. First, not reporting an accident is an offense in most states. Second, you want the police to show up to collect data and file an official police report. If the insurance companies involved try to settle claims without a police report, it’s just a mess. The insurance adjusters will not know what really happened and your view will likely differ from the other person.
Attempt to clean up
Some accidents are severe enough to make a big mess in the road. Don’t be tempted to clean it up. Although it is a good intention, it is dangerous to do and unnecessary. Typically, the police or more likely the highway department will clean things up – that’s their job.
Assume you are shaken “but OK”
Playing it cool and acting like nothing hurts when it actually does, is not a good idea. Let the police know so it can become part of the police report. This get you an ambulance ride to the local hospital but that might be smart. You want any potential injuries documented so that if you find out later on that you were actually injured, you have documentation to prove it.
Ignore others involved
Our final tip pertaining to what not to do after an accident has everything to do with not only common courtesy but is the smartest thing to do after an accident. Once everyone in your car is safely over to the side of the road, go check in on the other driver and passengers. You may be involved in the aftermath of the accident for some time so getting to know the other parties isn’t a bad idea.
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