Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What to do after a traffic accident...

Every year Abingdon Police respond to hundreds of traffic collisions.  Most of these crashes result in property damage only. About 15% result in injuries to someone involved in the crash.  Here are some pointers on what to do if you are involved in a collision.
  1. Assess yourself and everyone in your vehicle for injuries.  If someone in your car is injured, try to stay calm.  Do not leave the vehicle unless you see that staying in the vehicle might be more hazardous than getting out, such as the vehicle smoking heavily, an air bag deployment or you can see flames.
  2. Check with the occupants of other vehicles to see if anyone else is injured.  Give assistance as needed within your abilities.
  3. Report the collision to the police.  In Abingdon, the number is 276-676-6277 for non-emergency response and 9-1-1 for emergency response.  It is the driver's responsibility to report the collision, unless the driver is incapacitated.  In that case, the responsibility falls to passengers. 
  4. While waiting for the police to arrive, gather the information that the officer will need.  This information will be used for the collision report and will be exchanged with the other driver(s). This report will provide you and your insurance company with documentation of the accident.
This information includes:
a)      Your driver’s license
b)      The vehicle registration
c)      Proof of insurance for the vehicle 

Failure to report the accident from/near the crash scene can lead to loss of evidence and significantly reduce the thoroughness of the crash report. 

Remember, the best preparation for a collision is to avoid it.  Keep your speed within the posted limits and allow ample room between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.  Do not respond to aggressive behaviors by other motorists.  Also, allow for plenty of time to get to your destination so you are not tempted to exceed the speed limit or exceed the safe speed for road conditions.

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