When purchasing a car, many people are concerned about safety: How safe is this car? How will it help keep me from getting in a wreck? What will it do to keep me safe upon impact in a collision? According to an article on Forbes.com, there are about 10 million car accidents of all kinds each year (from fender benders to fatalities). About three out of every 1,000 of those 10 million accidents were fatal.

So what about the other 997 out of 1,000? Even if it is nothing as serious as a crumpled car or major injuries, it is still important to know what to do when a wreck happens.

The car insurance industry estimates that you will file a claim for a collision around once every 17.9 years. For a typical long lifetime of being on the road, you will probably have about three or four accidents (on average).

When the time comes that you need to know what to do, there is a good chance that you will be frazzled and maybe won’t be able to think as clearly as usual. That’s why it’s important to know beforehand exactly what needs to be done so that when the time comes, you won’t have to think logically about next steps – you’ll just know.

Step One: Make sure everyone is okay.

No matter what happens to the cars, people’s lives are more important. Before anything else, do a check of you and your passengers to see if there are major injuries and ask if the other car’s passengers are okay as well. If there are more than just scratches and bruises, call 911 immediately for an ambulance and police.

Step Two: Stay calm.

Before ever talking to the other person involved, make an effort stay civil. Even if it was clearly the other person’s fault, there is no need to yell or be rude; that will just upset them more and can come back to bite you. Be polite – BOTH of your days just took a turn for the worse.

Step Three: Move the cars out of traffic (if possible).

If the cars cannot be moved, stand somewhere safe until help arrives.

Step Four: Photograph everything.

Take pictures on your cellphone of not only your car, but the other car as well if you can. This is the best chance you have at preventing the other driver from making fraudulent claims against you.

Step Five: Stay there and get what you need.

Don’t leave the scene until the police arrive. Make sure you get all the necessary information from the other driver:

  • Name of driver and passengers

  • Vehicle registration (as well as license plate #)

  • Phone numbers

  • Insurance details

When the police arrive, file a police report of the incident. This can help speed up the insurance claim.

Step Six: Call your insurance company.

Provide the details of what happened and get started on getting things back to normal and be reimbursed quickly. Some insurance providers will also send someone to the scene with a car to get you where you need to go.

Step Seven: Visit your doctor soon after the accident.

Even if you have no visible injuries, it is a good idea to get checked out by your doctor in case you have internal injuries or other complications from the accident.

Step Eight: Stay in communication with your insurance company.

Be proactive in the days and weeks after the accident to assure that things get taken care of quickly. If you need to hire a personal injury lawyer, it is also important to do that quickly.


When an accident happens, it can be a scary time trying to sort things out and keep a level head. That’s why it’s important to know what to do before an accident happens!

Share this blog with your friends and family so they can be better prepared for anything while out on the road!

If your car has been in an accident and you’re looking for a great service team to get things back to the way they were, visit us at Westside Volkswagen in St. Louis Park. Our service team is certified and experienced in dealing with more than just Volkswagens. Let us show you why so many people choose us to take care of their car!
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