Involved in a Car Accident in Scottsdale?
Although Scottsdale is becoming a safer place to drive a vehicle (moving up 8 places on the Allstate American’s Best Driver’s Report for 2016), being on the road will always be dangerous. With the growing amount of distractions for drivers, the likelihood of an accident occurring is increasing.
What Causes Car Accidents the Most
While smartphones and technology exists to improve our lives, combined with driving it can be deadly. According to an article published by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in 2015 3,477 people died in a car accidents due to distracted driving. In total, the same year 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver.
Cell phones are not the only things that distracts drivers, but they are one the number one cause of all accidents. NHTSA records that approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their cell phones while driving during a given day. The potential for car accident related injuries or death with that statistic alone is terrifying.
Driving Under the Influence.
Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol has been the number one cause of car accidents, until texting and driving took it’s place. Consuming alcohol or using drugs inhibits your decision making ability and reduces your reaction time. If that person then decides to get behind the wheel of a car, they put themselves and everyone around them in danger of serious injury or death.
Driving at excessive speeds not only reduces the driver’s reaction time but limits the vehicle’s ability to maneuver to avoid collisions. Speeding accidents also have a higher chance of causing more severe injuries due to the excess amount of force on collision.
What to do After a Car Accident
Stay calm and be safe.
Car accidents can rattle you and it may not seem easy, but the best thing to do is stay calm. Assess any potential injuries that you may have and get to a safe location.
Minor accidents are not as strict about having to leave your vehicle in the exact position of when/where the accident occurred. If you’re involved in a minor accident move your vehicle out of traffic, the other driver should do the same. Getting everyone off the road and out of the way of traffic makes the situation more safe.
Major accidents can be a different situation all together. If you are unable or unsure if you should move your vehicle, move yourself to a safe location. This way you avoid the danger of another vehicle hitting you.
Police can and most likely will be at the scene of the accident, even minor ones. A police officer will help to make sure that the situation is safe and will call in medical attention if necessary. Having an officer at the scene will also be beneficial in a lawsuit, primarily for official records and determining fault.
Contact your insurance company.
Whenever involved in a car accident, big or small, it is a good idea to let your insurance company know at the time of the accident. This will make the proceeding process much simpler for both parties.
The sooner they get involved, the sooner you can find out what information you need to move forward. Your insurance company will also have recommendations on what to do at the scene of the accident.
Document the accident.
Take pictures, write down notes and information about and leading up to the accident. When time has passed and you are now dealing with the claim, this information will prove to be quite valuable.
Exchange information with the other driver.
Record as much information as possible, but generally you will want to get the other driver’s:
- Name, address, email and phone number
- Insurance company and policy number
- Make, model, year of the car
- License plate number
Insurance companies require this information to process a claim. Gathering it at the time of the accident will insure that the process flows as smooth as possible.
Get contact information from any witnesses.
Witnesses can some times play vital roles in a car accident. A witness can provide further information that maybe one or both of the drivers missed. This can also be beneficial if there are disputes about the accident’s detail.
Only leave the scene once everything has been documented.
It is key that you gather all necessary information to proceed with everything that follows the accident. Once you know there is nothing further needed, you may leave the scene of the accident.