What to do if you're in an accident

Updated:

ATLANTA, Ga. —

With reports of local law enforcement asking motorists who have been in a minor car accident to refrain from calling for assistance and/or getting a police report, what should a motorist do who has been involved in an accident?

“After insuring the safety of all involved, it is important to document what happened” says State Farm spokesman Justin Tomczak. “Exchange insurance and contact information and get the claim started with your insurance carrier.”

1.    Safety is most important. If you are injured, seek immediate medical attention. If your vehicle is drivable, get it out of the roadway and out of the path of oncoming traffic.

2.    If law enforcement are unable to assist, exchange information with the other driver – insurance policy number, full name, address and phone number.

3.    Get the name and badge number of the police officer you spoke with.

4.    Take pictures of the scene of the accident. Get photos of both vehicles and their position at the time of the wreck. Take a picture of the tag of the other vehicle.

5.    Call your insurance provider and file your claim to get the process started.

6.    State Farm policyholders are asked to call their agent or 1-(800)-SF-CLAIM (1-800-732-5246) in order to report damage. They can also visit www.statefarm.com and file their claim online.

7.    Customers with the State Farm Pocket Agent can file their claim via their smart phone.

“With cold temperatures continuing, and the clean-up from yesterday’s mess on the roads, drivers are urged to stay off the roads if at all possible” said Tomczak.

 

Follow Winter Driving Recommendations

Winter driving has its own set of challenges, from the moment you start up your vehicle. Here are some useful winter driving suggestions:

  • Never warm up your vehicle in a closed garage.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent gas line freeze-up.
  • Make sure your exhaust pipe is not clogged with mud or snow.
  • Don't use cruise control on icy roads.
  • Allow more time for braking when visibility is poor.
  • Stay calm if you start to skid.

Carry Emergency Supplies

In addition to the just-in-case items you should always have in your vehicle, such as jumper cables (and learn how to jump-start your car safely,) tire-changing tools, flashlight, and first aid kit, be sure to include these winter essentials:

  • Small folding shovel
  • Tow and tire chains
  • Basic tool kit
  • Bag of road salt or cat litter
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Antifreeze
  • Warning flares

Check out this video from Patch.com on what essential items you should have in your trunk…

Junk in your trunk? 

Pack a Survival Kit

In case you're ever marooned in your vehicle, you might want to keep a small survival kit on hand, in case of emergencies. Some useful items include:

Stay Calm if Stranded

If a winter storm strands you with your vehicle, follow these tips:

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

The best time to get ready for winter is before the first storm of the season. Some items to check include: