You probably are saying to yourself, “Car crash etiquette…That’s a thing?” And our answer to you would be… yes. It’s not like a “Grey Poupon” Ad or something, where you are acting like a British aristocrat, but it does involve showing compassion for the other driver’s safety in a collision. Including a list of important steps to take while you’re at the crash site. Let’s get started with what you should do immediately following the collision.
Part of Car Crash Etiquette is determining injuries (both yourself AND the other driver). After a traumatic event such as a crash, your body releases a surge of adrenaline. This can mask the initial symptoms of injuries. With an adrenaline rush, you might not realize you’re injured (and how severe) unless you see or feel it. Run your hands over your face and scalp to check for broken glass and bleeding. Check your passengers too, if applicable. If your car is in the path of oncoming traffic, move it to the shoulder if it is still operable. Then, call the police. Let the dispatcher know if an ambulance is needed.
Next, collect yourself, take a deep breath, and walk over to the other driver. Make sure that they and any of their passengers are okay. When the moment is appropriate, exchange important information, such as full names, addresses, phone numbers, and driver’s license numbers. You should also collect and provide the following:
- Insurance company’s name and contact information
- Insurance policy number
- License plate number
- Make and model of the vehicle
Now, when we speak of Car Crash Etiquette, it does NOT mean you apologize or admit fault to the other driver! You need to suppress this natural response. Point being, the other driver involved in the collision might use your remarks as an admission of guilt. Not good for you when dealing with the police or insurance company! It’s best to avoid discussing the specifics of how the crash happened while speaking with the other driver.
Make sure that you speak with your insurance company about the collision, preferably BEFORE you leave the accident scene. Depending on the location of where the collision took place (providing it is safe and not obstructing traffic flow), leave your car in place. Your claim adjuster may want to travel out to the scene and look at the damage. Another reason to call an adjuster while you are still at the collision scene is that events and detail of the crash with be fresh in your mind.
Provide the basic facts your insurance adjuster needs, and ask any questions you may have, such as how long it will be until you can get a check. Have your car towed to the auto collision center. Finally, make sure your insurance adjuster gets the estimate in a timely manner to avoid any delays.
As always, we here at Pete Solis Collision Center never wish to see you in an accident. However, if one day you do need collision repair services, we hope you would consider us. Pete Solis Collision Center is El Paso’s Auto Body Shop! With over 47 years of experience behind us, we are the top choice for bodywork, paint, and more. We are the home to ICAR certified professional body shop technicians, as well as quality Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes. Pete Solis Collision Center is located at 1434 Lomaland Dr. in El Paso, Texas. Give us a call today at (915) 599-8666. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.