A car accident can leave you vulnerable. When you are stuck stranded on the side of the road, you may find yourself being struck again. However, if you follow the car accident safety tips outlined below, you can ensure that no additional harm comes your way as you deal with the aftermath of your accident.
Here is what you need to do following your car accident:
1. Turn on the Hazard Lights
Other drivers and road users in the area might not necessarily be expecting to encounter a vehicle that has stalled on the roadway. If they fail to see you, they may end up crashing into you, too. Use road flares in addition to hazard lights if you are on a busy road.
2. Stay Inside Your Vehicle
If the accident occurred on a busy road such as a highway, you should exercise caution when you get out of the vehicle. It isn’t unusual, though tragic, for victims of car accidents to be struck when walking around the vehicle.
If there’s heavy traffic, it is advisable to contact the police from within your vehicle and stay there until help arrives. The most common type of accident is being rear ended. Research actually suggests that you might be safer not only by staying inside the vehicle but also keeping the seatbelt buckled. That way, you will still be protected in case of a second crash.
3. Be Careful When You Approach the Other Driver
If the other driver seems threatening or belligerent in any way, it’s best not to engage them. Instead, wait for the arrival of police. You can then safely request the other driver’s license and insurance information.
4. Move the Vehicle to Safety
If your vehicle still runs and your injuries aren’t preventing you from driving, it can be a good idea to move the vehicles so that they are not in the path of other vehicles and in harm’s way. Try pulling over in a safe location. Obviously, this is not always possible. If you have to stay put, ensure that the hazard lights are on to alert other road users of your presence.
5. If You Smell Gasoline, Get Out
While you will usually be safest staying inside your vehicle, that isn’t always the case. One scenario when you should not remain inside your vehicle is if there’s reason to suspect that a fire might break out. Fortunately, the vast majority of accidents don’t result in explosions or fires. However, if you smell the unexplained scent of something burning or smell gasoline, get yourself and any passengers carefully out of the vehicle to the safest place within reach.
If you follow the steps above after being involved in a car crash can help ensure that an already bad situation doesn’t get worse. However, there are still other things that you need to do following an accident to protect your legal rights an ensure that you are able to get the necessary medical care.