Unfortunately automobile accidents happen and they are usually chaotic immediately afterwards.  To make things worse, after a collision, your body goes into fight or flight mode, and clear thinking becomes difficult.  To prepare you just in case you find yourself in an accident, here are several things you should not do after a car accident.

Flee the scene

Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal.  Don’t ever leave the scene of an accident. This advice certainly applies to minor accidents also.  If you back into a parked car or clip someone’s external mirror, you may be tempted to conclude that “there’s no real damage” and leave.  The problem is that if someone sees you, or you are captured on a surveillance camera, then you are documented as leaving the scene of an accident.  This will likely get you a surprise visit from the police and an appearance date in court.

Neglect to call the police

Regardless of how small the incident may be, call 911 and notify the police. First, not reporting any sort of accident is an offense, as we mentioned. Second, you want the police to show up to stabilize the scene, collect data and file a report. If the insurance companies involved try to settle claims without a police report, it’s just a mess.  The insurance adjuster and others will not know what really happened and your view of “what happened” will likely differ from the other person.  Take it from Landrover of Naperville, IL, a full-service Landrover dealer– always dial 911 when you are involved in an accident.

Leave your car in the road

Unless your car is damaged so badly that it can’t be moved, it is always best to pull off way off to the side of the road after an accident.  Don’t worry about preserving the scene for the authorities when they arrive.  It is far more important for you and any other cars involved, to go where it is safe to exit your vehicle and wait for the police.

Attempt to clean up

Some accidents are severe enough to make a big mess in the road, don’t be tempted to clean it up.  Although it is a good intention, it is usually dangerous to do this sort of thing.  Typically the police or highway department will clean things up – that’s their job. Plus, the responding police officers may need to see the debris for documentation purposes.

Assume aches and pains are just bruises

Playing it cool and acting like “nothing hurts” may save you an ambulance ride to the local hospital, but that might not be a good idea. The smart thing is to get any aches and pains documented so that if you find out later that you were actually injured, then you have documentation to prove it.

Ignore other vehicles involved

Our final tip pertaining to what not to do after an accident has everything to do with being a good citizen. Once everyone is safely over to the side of the road, go check on the other driver and passenger. You may be involved in the aftermath of the accident for a long time so setting the stage by introducing yourself and making sure everyone is OK is always a good idea.

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