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What to do After a Car Accident

Even after an accident has passed, you may not be out of danger. Rubberneckers, fire, and injuries that are not yet apparent are still quite dangerous. Get help and stay safe with these tips.

Call 911 for help: As soon as you can, call authorities to help attend to your emergency. This will ensure that you get medical attention and clear the accident as soon as possible.

Assess whether it’s safe to leave your vehicle: Your car may be the safest place to be even after a crash. Getting out on the highway where there may be rubberneckers or while other vehicles are crashing around you in a multiple vehicle pileup can put you in serious danger if you’ve exited the car. Assess whether there is moving traffic and if you have injuries that might require you to stay still. Leave if it is safe to do so, but remember that the safest place to be may be in your seat with your seat belt still fastened.

Reduce the risk of fire: Turn off your engine, do not smoke, and do not allow anyone else to smoke. The accident may have resulted in a leak of flammable materials, such as gas. Leaving your car running or smoking in the area can cause vapors to ignite.

Apply first aid: Find your first aid kit and attend to any injuries that you can handle until emergency services arrive.

Get out if there’s danger: If there’s a fire or you’ve landed in water, you’ll need to exit your vehicle and help any passengers get out as soon as possible. This is particularly tricky if you’re in water. As soon as your vehicle hits water, get out. Open your window immediately to give yourself the best chance of escape. Remember that it will be difficult if not impossible to open your door with water pressure. Break side windows with your foot or a safety tool. Do not attempt to break the windshield as it is designed for impact. Leave everything behind except for other people.