Did you know that most drivers, even the careful ones, will be involved in a car accident at least once in their lives? And according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, one person out of every three will be killed or injured in a car crash. Those are high odds. Have you been in an accident yet? Were you prepared? Did you know what to do?
I think we all have a vague notions of what to do? But preparation is needed, even for accidents requiring only minor bumper repairs or auto body shop work. Here are a few tips I found on the state DMV website for those involved in a vehicle accident.
- If you are involved in an accident with a car, a person, or an animal, your first obligation is to STOP. If you leave the scene of the accident, you will be charged with a “hit and run” and be severely punished.
- Find out if the other driver is injured, then call 911 for help.
- You must show the CHP or the other drivers involved in the accident your driver license, vehicle registration care, proof of insurance, and your current address. If you do not have proof of insurance, you will be fined $250.
- If no one is injured, you are obligated to removed your vehicle from the street or it may be removed and impounded.
- If you hit an animal, you are obligated to stop, and try and find the owner. If you can’t find the owner, call 911 for help. Don’t try and move the animal unless you want to get bitten. But on the other hand, don’t just leave the animal to die.
- Finally, if someone is injured or the vehicle damage is more than $750, you or your insurance company need to fill out a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR 1) form and get it to a DMV office within 10 days of the accident.