If you’re involved in an auto accident or just witnessed one, you’ll need to be able to describe details of the accident to the police upon their arrival. This can be a bit nerve-wracking because they usually seem happen in the blink of the eye. On top of how quickly they occur, many are often anxious and nervous. This is natural, but after the call is made to 9-1-1, try to calm down and try to size up the situation. It’s important to be calm in order to give an accurate account of the incident.
If you were involved in the accident, do not admit fault even if you believe you were. There can be other factors involved that you do not realize. If you were not in the car accident but simply witnessed it, do not leave—you may be able to shed some light on the situation. Take note of which vehicle caused the crash, were they speeding or swerving? Is there any reason to suspect impaired driving? Were they trying to avoid another irresponsible driver who wasn’t in the accident but possibly caused it?
Most people have phones with cameras. While waiting for the police to arrive, take shots of the scene, paying particular attention to the damage on the cars, bodily injury, and evidence left on the road such as skid marks. If you can, get names and phone numbers, even addresses of other witnesses.
Other details that can be important: road construction, detours, and inclement weather conditions. Relate the accident as detailed and clear as possible to the police and give them any evidence that you have gathered.
It’s not always possible to prevent an accident, but being a defensive driver who pays attention to surroundings is not only helpful in prevention but also in dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident.
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