By: Devin Morrissey
You leave work and start driving down the road, your favorite song playing on the radio. As you jam to the music, you notice that the light is turning red. Just as you start to slow down, you hear tires screeching behind you and — bang! Your neck jerks forward, and the airbag deploys. In your dazed state of mind, you aren’t sure what to make of the situation or what to do next.
The truth is, an unexpected car accident can really leave you shaken up and a bit scared, especially if you’re at fault. You will have to worry about not only your vehicle but the other person’s, as well. In any car accident, the first thing you should do is make sure everyone involved is okay. While checking on the other person is important, after a collision, it’s equally important to check on yourself. With adrenaline rushing through your body and stress levels going through the roof, it can be easy to overlook injuries after an accident.
Once you’ve determined that everyone is safe, make verbal contact with the other driver. There’s no need to admit guilt, regardless of what happened, since that will increase the chances of your insurance rates going up, unnecessarily.
Focus strictly on the details about what car parts were damaged and what photos you’ll be sending them. You’ll need to have comprehensive collision insurance to cover the cost of repairs, or if the car is so badly damaged it’s declared a total loss, to help cover the cost of a car that’s new or new-to-you.
Damages & Insurance
When it comes to your immediate actions after an accident, be sure to cover all the important bases you’ll need to handle the insurance claims later. Whatever you do, make sure you never attempt to drive away from the scene. Instead, stay calm and collected and take the following steps:
- Even if no one has been injured or hurt, be sure to stop your vehicle and examine the condition of both cars.
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver
- Take photos of the incident, for your records and for insurance purposes
- When reporting the incident to police, focus on the facts
Let’s face it: car accidents are not only scary, but they’re also expensive. What happens if the car body gets damaged in an accident? Some dents can be fixed by you pushing it out yourself, while others will need a professional to assess what can be done. How can you tell the difference?
It all depends on the body, which can either be metal or plastic. Metal, for instance, will rust over time after an accident, especially in the rain and snow. At first, the rust might seem minor, but as time goes on, the condition will only get worse, eventually making the car unsafe. If this happens, you’ll want to take it to a professional auto body shop for further inspection.
The Future of Driving
According to Ohio University, technology will likely change the way we operate motor vehicles within a decade. Automobile companies are now adding technology like adaptive headlights to new cars. These headlights are designed to let drivers see the area in front of them at all times, redirecting the direction of the beams according to the position of the vehicle — especially on dark, winding roads.
Although we should definitely retain common courtesy and calmness in the aftermath of a car crash, we may eventually be able to rely on automatic accident reporting, courtesy of services like OnStar. If GPS tracking can record the trajectories of both vehicles, it will potentially eliminate the need for us to document what happened in writing, for insurance purposes.
With new developments in the tech industry, driver safety on the road has improved. While technology can’t prevent accidents from happening, it can make them less likely to occur — a win-win situation for everyone.