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5 things to do if you get in a car accident

A car crash is never expected, but if you have these tips down you'll know just what to do and what to have ready if it happens.

With the rainy and stormy weather, unfortunately that increases the risk of a traffic accidents. Of course no one plans to get in an accident, but if you happen to find yourself in that unfortunate situation, here are five things you should know.

1. MOVE TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

After the accident, it's important to move to the shoulder. This way you can stay out of harms way to prevent another collision from happening. There are two exceptions to this rule: if there's a serious injury or if it's too dangerous to move your car. 

2. CHECK FOR INJURIES

Once on side of the road, make sure that everyone in your vehicle is okay. If you feel that medical attention is needed, call for an ambulance. It's also important to call police, even if you think it's only a minor accident, so they can write up a police report. You will need the police report for your insurance claim (see #5 below). If the visibility is poor or if it's dark outside, put flares outside of the vehicle or turn on your hazard lights. This will warn other drivers. 

3. GATHER INFORMATION

Once you have determined that it's safe to get out of the car, get the other driver's personal information. This information includes:

  • Driver and passenger names and contact information
  • License plate numbers
  • Driver's license numbers
  • Insurance info
  • Makes and models of all vehicles involved
  • Eyewitnesses: names and contact info
  • Location of the accident
  • The name and badge number of any responding police officers

4. CAPTURE PHOTOS OF THE SCENE

Nowadays most people have cell phones with cameras. Be sure to take as many photos of the accident scene as possible. Document everything that happened.

5. FILE A CLAIM

Call your insurance agency to file a claim. Most insurance agencies have 24-hour service lines. Be very thorough with them while reporting your claim. 

There are also some things that you should have handy in the car. In the event that of a crash, you will need: 

  • Driver's license 
  • Vehicle registration 
  • Proof of insurance 

Also be sure to have a charged phone, or a charger in the car, in case you need to be on the phone with insurance or whoever is coming to pick you up from the crash for a long time. Having these things handy will make things easier for you. 

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ONE MORE FROM ABC10: RAW: Rain and crashes back up traffic for Sacramento morning commute | February 13, 2019

A downpour of rain during the Wednesday morning commute led to dozens of crashes on Sacramento area freeways. Wrecks blocked traffic on I-5, Highway 50, I-80 and Highway 99 creating gridlock for drivers. This is a raw look at some crashes and backups during the morning commute in Sacramento and Elk Grove, California.