What To Do If You Are Involved In a Car Crash...
SAFE AND SMART AT A CAR ACCIDENT
too often police officers are dispatched to car accidents, and about 90% of the
time, they observe that all too familiar look on peopleís faces. Itís the
look of trauma, fear, confusion and helplessness. With that in mind, we would
like to provide a refresher for what to do if you are involved in a car accident
in the future. Feel free to use this article as a reference to keep in your car,
and if you have children who drive, share this information with them.
of all, if you are involved in an accident, remain calm. The situation is
probably going to be nerve wracking enough without people losing their tempers.
Yelling at the other person, or accusing the other driver of being at fault is
only going to compound the problem.
make sure you and your passengers are okay. If you have any doubt about possible
injuries, the injured person should not be moved unless there is imminent fear
of them being further injured by fire for example. Which brings our first
reminder: Any motor vehicle accident with injuries must be reported to the
police by law. This even includes a one car accident where just the driver
himself is injured. Failing to do so, can bring criminal charges.
you are not injured, and are able to exit your vehicle and speak with the other
driver, make sure they are not injured, and assess the damage to the vehicles.
Now for our second reminder: If there is a combined total of $1,000 or more in
property damage, between motor vehicles or other property, a report must be
filed with the police. If you were involved in a minor fender bender and you
knew there is no possibility that there is $1,000 worth of damage between your
car and the other car, you could exchange information and go on your way without
required police involvement. If however, it is questionable how much damage
there is it is advisable to call the police.
letís review the information you need to exchange with the other driver. You
should provide each other with:
date of birth, driverís license number, address and phone number.
vehicle ownerís name, address, and telephone number if different.
insurance company name, year, make, model, and description of damage to the
witnesses or passengerís names, addresses, and phone numbers.
address, phone number of any ownerís of property that was damaged. (Mailboxes,
telephone poles, fences, lawns, rock walls etc.)
the vehicles involved are okay to drive, there are no injuries or fatalities,
and it is safe to do so, an attempt can be made to move the vehicles off to the
side of the road or parking lot where it is safe. Otherwise leaving them in the
roadway can cause another accident and other unsafe conditions.
if the other driver leaves the scene? Take down the license plate number,
description of the vehicle, description of the driver, and a direction of travel
and call the police. Do not attempt to chase this person, force them off the
road, or in any way detain them. Your safety is the most important thing! Road
rage is a very serious concern for us, and we do not want to see you get hurt.
If you get the information we provided for you to get, the police can track this
person down for you and file the appropriate charges. Leaving the scene of a
property damage, personal injury, or fatal accident are serious crimes in Ohio
and are strictly enforced by police officials.
you have all the appropriate information, call your insurance company and tell
them what happened. They can assist you in filling out your accident report. A
word of caution: be sure to get the police departmentís name and the
officerís name that is handling your accident if they are called. In the
confusion of things, itís easy to overlook this. You will need this
information for your personal records, as well as the accident report.
but certainly of no less importance, BE SAFE! Wear your seatbelt, observe the
speed limit, and other traffic laws, and do not engage in foolish acts of road
rage or any other hazardous driving. Driving is a privilege for us all, and to
be safe we must drive responsibly.