We take safety precautions when driving, such as using seatbelts, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles, and keeping up with our vehicle’s maintenance. But sometimes, the unexpected happens. Car accidents are one of the most common insurance claims, and although we all hope to avoid them, it is important to be prepared if they do occur. If you or someone you know is involved in a car accident, or if your vehicle breaks down, remember these tips to stay safe and manage the situation.
Important tips to remember:
- Maintain the right amount of insurance coverage: It’s important to ensure the coverage you possess on your vehicle is adequate. Speak with your agent or broker about the different options available and guarantee you have the correct vehicle insurance coverage.
- Take pictures of your vehicles: Take photos of your vehicle pre-accident to make certain you are aware of its condition, as well as any valuables that are present. This can help to create a smoother process for the claims department when establishing the amount of the damage.
- Carry a safety kit in your vehicle: In case of a breakdown or an accident, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicle. These kits should contain items such as a warm blanket, flashlight, flares, non-perishable food, bottles of water, first aid kit, whistle, and any other items you think may come in handy during unexpected situations. It is always better to be prepared. We have prepared a list of other essentials we recommend you include in your emergency roadside kit.
Steps to follow if you’ve been in a car accident:
- Stop: Never leave the scene of an accident. If the other driver leaves, write down their license plate number so the authorities can locate them.
- Safety first: Confirm no one is hurt, then check for damage. Watch for oncoming traffic and turn on your hazard lights to warn them.
- Call for help: If the accident is serious, call 911. Keep injured people warm and don’t move them unless they’re in immediate danger.
- Gather essential information: Once you know everyone is okay, exchange necessary information with the other party to file an accident report. Remember to collect:
- Each driver’s name, contact information, license plate number, the name of their insurance company and the policy number. If there were any witnesses, be sure to get their name and contact information as well.
- The types of vehicles involved.
- The location of each vehicle.
- Take photos and videos showing damage to vehicles, all vehicles involved in the accident, and the scene of the accident.
- File a police report: Depending on the severity of the accident, it may be necessary to file a police report. Call the local authorities and follow their instructions to properly report the incident. This report provides an official record of the accident and can help with the insurance claim process.
- Move your vehicle: If you can do so safely, get your vehicle out of the flow of traffic. If it’s too dangerous, wait to have it towed.
Steps to follow if you’ve experienced a vehicle break down:
- At the first sign of trouble, maneuver your vehicle toward the side of the road if possible.
- Put on your hazard lights when you're off the road.
- Set out pop-up, reflective safety pylons around your vehicle for added safety and visibility, if you have them.
- Call for help. If you're unable to fix your car, get professional help or call the police.
- Stay inside your vehicle with the doors locked and be cautious if strangers approach your vehicle.
- Consider walking if help is nearby, but don’t put your safety at risk. Keep as far away from traffic as possible.
- Keep an emergency kit inside your car.
- Change flat tires in a safe place. Drive your car further off the road if necessary. Once you’re safe and out of traffic, change your tire as you normally would.
Preparing for an unexpected car accident is a responsible step that can ease challenges that may occur in the future. At Ayr Farmers Mutual Insurance, we are dedicated to helping individuals and families during difficult times. Contact your Ayr Farmers Mutual Insurance agent or broker today to learn more about your auto insurance coverage. If you are interested in obtaining an auto insurance quote, please fill out the online form or call us at 1-800-265-8792. Remember, it’s never too early to be prepared for the unexpected, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as professional insurance advice. The coverage, terms, and conditions of each insurance policy are unique and subject to individual circumstances. The information provided does not guarantee the availability or suitability of any insurance policy for your specific needs. You should not rely on the information in the blog as an alternative to professional advice from your insurance broker or insurance company. If you have any specific questions about any insurance matter, please consult a licensed insurance agent or insurance broker for personalized advice and guidance.