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Getting into a collision with another vehicle on the road is one of the most stressful life experiences you can go through. What to do immediately following the incident isn’t always clear and, in the case of a serious car crash where you or the other driver might be injured, it is important to dial 9-1-1 to get immediate assistance. Getting into an accident while driving isn’t something anyone plans on; however if you are unfortunate enough to have just been in one knowing what to do can be critical in avoiding any further damages.

Take a Deep Breath and Remain Calm

If you have just been involved in an accident with another vehicle it’s likely that adrenaline has now made its way into your bloodstream. The adrenaline is present to help you cope with the immediate danger you faced and aids in managing the stress resulting from shock. Despite this, the presence of adrenaline is also clouding your judgement. This is why it’s extremely important to take a deep breath and remain calm immediately following any sort of collision with another vehicle on the road. Although it is sometimes easier said than done, trying your best to remain level-headed will result in you handling the situation quickly and calmly.

Contact Local Authorities to Mediate

If you feel as though you or the other driver might be injured, or believe that there will be a difference of opinion when establishing fault, contact your local authorities to mediate. Depending on your location, your local authorities might not be able to help unless an injury is present. It’s important to request that they arrive to the scene in order to mediate the situation, as there is a disagreement in establishing fault. When the officer arrives to the scene they will take a detailed report of the crash and through the analysis will establish fault. You can obtain a copy of his or her report and submit this to your driver’s insurance company. Doing so speeds up the processing time of your insurance claim and, should something related to the crash arise in the future, provides a consultable legal record.

Exchange Car Insurance Information

Exchanging car insurance information is critical to ensure that all parties in the collision are protected. Most countries prohibit driving without insurance, and if you encounter someone in this situation it is important to contact your local authorities to mediate the situation. Although someone might promise to pay for any damages he or she has caused without submitting a claim, the safest way to ensure your financial security is by exchanging insurance information.

Verify Your Car Tires, Windscreen and Undercarriage

Once the situation is mediated and your insurance information has been exchanged, verify your car tires, windscreen and vehicle’s undercarriage. If you have been involved in a minor road accident it may seem as though your vehicle does not need immediate attention. Despite this, the only way to be certain is by examining these components. Any collision can cause ruptured tires, gas leaks, and damage to your windscreen. If possible, it’s important to safely exit your vehicle and examine these areas before leaving the scene. Some repairs to your vehicle might seem unnecessary, especially those that don’t affect its function. A minor crack in your windscreen might not need to be addressed immediately; however there is much to be said about why replacing a cracked windscreen is important. In this particular case, the immediate cost to replace a windscreen could be significantly lower than the combined cost of repair and any related damage that could result in the future.

Ian Appleton is a writer with an interest in vehicle repairs who suggests that you should contact a windscreen specialist if you spot a crack as they may ask you to question why replace a cracked windscreen in its entirety, if they can simply fix it with a filler.