What to Do After a Car Accident

Nobody likes to think about it. But it happens to just about everybody at one time or another.

I’m talking about a car accident. If you’ve been in one or more, I hope they’ve been minor.

There are no upsides to car accidents. Even if you avoid injury, there are usually repairs to deal with. And the possibility that your insurance premium will rise. And maybe being without your car for a while as it’s being fixed.

But like everything else, the better prepared you are for a car accident, the better you’ll be able to deal with it when it happens.

Millions of accidents every year

First a few statistics to let you know how prevalent this safety problem is. These come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 2019, there were approximately 6,756,000 automobile accidents in America. About 1,916,000 involved injuries and 33,244 resulted in deaths.

On average, drivers were about three times more likely to suffer injuries or death than passengers.

Some of that is due to the fact that often the driver is the only person in the vehicle when an accident occurs.

The 10-step program

Here are 10 steps the Allstate Insurance Company and the AARP recommend taking immediately following a car accident.

  1. Check yourself for injuries. If injured, call 911 or ask someone else to do so. If you’re seriously injured, try not to move. Wait for emergency personnel. 
  2. If you’re not too hurt to move, check on other passengers in your car and any other involved vehicles. If anyone is injured, call 911 or ask a bystander for help. 
  3. Get to safety. If your car is safe but might be causing a hazard in the road, move it to the side of the road. If you have to leave your car where it is, get yourself to safety by the side of the road or on a sidewalk. 
  4. Call 911. Whether an accident is considered a minor fender-bender or a major collision, calling the police is important. In some states, it’s legally required.
  5. Wait for help to arrive. Turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights if necessary. Road flares will come in handy if you’re on a dark road at night.
  6. If it’s safe to do so, exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. This includes full name and contact information; insurance company and policy number; driver’s license and license plate number; type, color and model of the vehicle(s); and location of the accident. The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends NOT discussing fault while exchanging this information. And never share your Social Security number or the coverage limits on your insurance policy. If emotions are running high or you believe the other driver might be impaired, return to your car. 
  7. Responding officers will fill out an accident report and document the scene. If police are unable to come to the accident site, drive to the nearest police station to fill out a report. Your insurer will probably need a copy of this report to help with the claims process.
  8. The III recommends taking the following steps to protect yourself. Identify the responding officers (names and badge numbers). Get a copy of the police report. Take pictures of your car and the other car(s) involved in the accident, from different angles. As well as skid marks and property damage. Note the direction each vehicle was headed when the accident occurred, and where vehicle occupants were seated. If there are witnesses to the accident, try to get their names and contact information. 
  9. Notify your insurance agent either while at the scene or shortly after you arrive at your destination.
  10. If you experience any pain following the accident, schedule a doctor’s appointment and document the findings. This could be very important for insurance purposes.   

You may wish to print out the 10 steps listed above and keep them in your glove compartment.

HaloXT Tactical Flashlight

Of course, you should always keep a tactical flashlight in your car. The HaloXT Tactical Flashlight from 4Patriots is as sturdy as they come. Despite the fact that it’s small, lightweight and easy to handle.

It’s made from aluminum alloy so it’s very durable. It knows how to handle abuse. You can drop it or bang it, and it will still perform perfectly. It’s weather-resistant, shock-resistant and corrosion-resistant.

Now, the HaloXT Tactical Flashlight with its nine light functions and small solar panels will keep working even if you drop it. But you don’t want to drop it while you’re using it. That’s why we’ve given it an anti-slip handle and an adjustable wrist strap.

And if you’re ever in a car accident where you need some extra help, this flashlight can also cut a seatbelt and break a window, enabling you to escape. You don’t want to go anywhere without the HaloXT Tactical Flashlight


  • LaDonna Byrd - February 15, 2022

    I would love a Generator 1800. And the HaloXT Flashlight.

  • Lola N. - February 15, 2022

    Thanks for the list of 10 steps to take following an accident. From my personal experience, being in an accident can leave you so shaken up, you can’t think straight beyond the basics of exchanging names and insurance. Printing this list and placing it with your registration/insurance is an excellent idea.

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