There is a car accident every 60 seconds somewhere in the world, according to data from The National Highway Traffic Administration. It’s estimated that there are at least 5.25 million car crashes around the globe on a yearly basis.
While car accidents like fender-benders and side-swipes are inevitable, there are a few things you can do after the fact to make it better. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Take Notes About Your Car Accident
You will probably be quite shaken up after being in an accident no matter the severity of the crash. But you must do your best to take detailed notes while at the scene. If you are in need of medical care, however, seek help and assistance first. Later on these notes will help your case if you have to go to court.
Record as much as you can, such as who was driving, where they were driving to, what direction they were driving, what led up to the accident, your speed, the current road conditions, any distractions like texting and any witnesses to the accident. Also take note of information about the other driver including their name and car insurance information.
2. Document With Photos
In addition to taking notes at the scene, it is wise to document the accident with photos. This is where your smartphone comes in handy. Smartphones like the Galaxy S6 have high-resolution cameras can capture the detailed damage ranging from large dents to faint scratches.
Any photos you take strengthen your case and will help you get fair compensation after your accident. If you can safely do so, get photos of the exterior and inside damage of all of the cars involved. Be sure to include shots of all four corners of every car. Also, try to capture the positions of the cars and include any landmarks and traffic lights so people who look at the photos can have a clearer picture. It’s also advised to get photos of the license plates, skid marks, debris and car parts from the accident.
2. Keep Everything
After the accident, keep any and all documentation. This includes anything about the wreck such as bills, receipts and estimates that are related to your car accident. Additionally, it is advised to keep all documentation from rental cars or alternative transportation used because of your car accident, towing fees and all repairs. An insurance claims adjuster can effectively investigate your case and claim with proper documentation if it is provided.
4. Make a Claim
After the dust has settled and it is time to file your claim with your car insurance provider, submit all documentation, notes and photos that you took with a police report. All of the supporting materials you collected will be used in your case. After your report has been submitted and looked at, you will be contacted by an adjuster who may have more questions for you.
For more information about documenting an accident in your home state, visit DMV.org.
Authored by Social Monsters
By Guest Author: Paul Colley
Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death of people between the ages of 15 to 20 years in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents cause 36 percent of “all deaths in this age group
A study conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance in April 2011 analyzed over 800 crashes that involved teen drivers. It found that 75 percent of accidents were caused by teen driver error.
Teens & Car Accidents: Causes & Consequences
The following three common errors account for almost half of these crashes:
- Teens failed to survey the road ahead to detect and/or respond to hazards
- Driving too fast
- They were distracted by items inside and outside of the car
It is no surprise that parents often hesitate to hand over the car keys to their teenagers. If you are letting your teenager drive, make sure they are aware of and follow safe driving techniques to keep themselves safe on the road. Every teen driver can be subject to legal proceedings for driving or speeding carelessly. The situation gets worse if it is a case of driving under the influence
U.S. laws related to driving under the influence are strict and many state laws have zero tolerance for minors and alcohol. For example, driving under the influence in Texas will delay your teen’s driving privileges for 180 days (minor offense) and up to 2 years in the case of second or subsequent offenses. In addition to the suspended driving privileges, there are significant fines and classes that must be taken in order to get back your driving privileges.
The punishment is more severe with second or subsequent offenses and would likely include additional fines, court costs, and legal fees. That would be the best case, because more often than not, if a third party is involved and has sustained an injury on the account of an inebriated teen’s reckless driving behavior, there will be the added headache of fighting a skilled Austin personal injury attorney who will be fighting hard to secure the rights and privileges of the victim in the case.
Safety Measures: Let Technology Save the Day
The good news is parents can now monitor how their teen is driving thanks to technological developments. You can prevent your teens from speeding, encourage them to ignore the distractions on the road, and better protect them from a car crash. There are many safety gadgets available today that can provide a safer experience for your teens behind the wheel, helping them avoid car crashes.
Here are a few gadgets worth considering.
Hyundai’s Blue Link System
The 2012 Hyundai Sonata, Veloster and Sonata Hybrid come with the Blue Link telematic system. It automatically calls for help if there is a crash. Better yet, Hyundai’s Blue Link System alerts parents if their teens engage in unsafe behavior when driving. It also allows parents to better control the movement of their teens. For example, the Geo-Fence feature allows you to set boundaries beyond which your teen driver cannot go with the car. You can also set exclusionary boundaries for areas you do want your teen driver to go.
Another feature highly touted by parents is the curfew alerts feature. You can set the alert if you don’t want your teenaged son/daughter to drive the car after 11 P.M or even midnight. If they do, you will be immediately notified by text message, a phone call or email. Last but not least, the Blue Link system allows you to set speed alerts. If your teen driver crosses a particular speed limit, the system will contact you.
This system reduces the chances of your teens engaging in risky behavior behind the wheel.
Ford’s MyKey System
Ford’s MyKey system is standard on most Lincoln and Ford models. Using a programmable key, this system allows parents to control the way their teenage son or daughter drives. You can use this key to set a speed limit as well as limit the stereo volume. Better yet, there is an option that allows you to keep the sound system from turning on unless everyone inside the car has fastened their seatbelts. A sound also chimes as soon as the car speed reaches 45, 55 and 65 mph.
In addition, the MyKey system comes with optional hands-free control for cell phones. It can even read text messages automatically to the driver or block them altogether.
This is a very useful Android and iPhone app that helps you keep your teen driver safe behind the wheel. Using the GPS of the driver’s phone, this app determines the prevailing local text message and hands-free laws, and also alerts your teen drivers so they can comply. The best part of this app is that it not only reminds your teen drivers not to text, but also rewards them for following safe driving techniques.
Your teen driver can start earning rewards after 500 miles of safe driving. Rewards are given in forms of points, which can be translated into $5 worth of gift cards at various leading retailers such as Macy’s and Amazon.
This system from Mercedes-Benz is available in all 2013 model-year cars. Common features include speeding alerts and geo-fencing to give parents better control of the way their teens drive. It also comes with a “breadcrumbs” feature known as a Driving Journal. It tracks the records of where and how your car has been driven.
Mercedes-Benz mbrace2 allows you to generate a travel history that appears on an online map. Using the geo-fencing feature, parents can set up 15 geographical locations where their teens are not allowed to take the car.
These safety gadgets come in handy in the time of need. Teen drivers are prone to accidents and gifting your son or daughter a safety device can help him or her stay safe. Installing a safety device or an app is not enough; you also need to set rules and work collaboratively with your teens. Working with your teen and using the necessary safety gadgets will go a long way in helping him or her become a safer driver.
Paul Colley is an attorney at Colley & Colley, LLP based in Austin, Texas. With his expertise in handling personal injury cases, Paul has recovered more than $50 million for clients and helped personal injury victims fight for their rights.
Last week, the Department of Transportation launched its first national advertising campaign ever. What issue compelled them to launch such an expansive campaign, reaching out over TV, radio, and the web? The dangers of distracted driving, of course.
Today marks the start of a crackdown on distracted driving that will run until April 15th. Officers around the country will be on the watch for drivers with their eyes on their phone instead of on the road. In earlier campaigns against texting and driving in California and Delaware, police officers handed out over 16,000 tickets over three waves of enforcement.
But if that’s not enough to motivate you to change those bad habits – after all, 666,000 drivers in the United States are using their phone while driving at any given moment – maybe some of these statistics will:
The average fine in the United States for texting while driving is $100, but some states charge thousands. Alaska knows this is no joke: their highest allowable fine is $10,000.
Parents might not always be setting the best example for their children – 53% of them text while stopped at a red light, and 41% text while driving. For comparison, 60% of teenagers text at red lights and 43% text while driving.
During the average 4.6 seconds it takes to send or read a text message, at 40 miles per hour your vehicle will have traveled the length of 16 cars.
Distracted driving was responsible for 3,000 car crashes, injuring 387,000 people in 2011. That year, over 3,300 people died because of texting and driving.
The message is clear: put your phone down to save lives. If you are a passenger, speak up against the driver’s decision to drive distracted.
It may just be the most important decision you ever make.
To help spread the word about the dangers of texting and driving, please share the infographic with your friends and family, or use this embed code to publish the infographic on your website. Thanks for sharing this important message.
Adrienne Erin is a writer and designer based in Pennsylvania. She designed this infographic for Katherman Briggs & Greenberg in order to help raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving. You can see more of Adrienne’s work by following @adrienneerin on Twitter or visiting her blog, Design Roast.
Talk Before It Is Too Late
Road Safety announced that in January 2014, 238 people died in road accidents in France , against 239 a year earlier, representing a relatively stable (-0.5%) rate. The association of 40 million motorists challenged this figure. In fact, he noted that Road Safety announced 271 deaths for the month of January 2013. The difference is explained by the fact that road safety is based on provisional figures to present his monthly report, and its software statistical calculation overstated the final number of deaths in January 2013. However, 40 million motorists denounced a “statistical approximation,” wondering how road safety can compare final figures for January 2013 to provisional data for January 2014 (which will be consolidated in June).
Source: LARGUS.FR 02/07/14 and 02/10/14 PARIS newspaper )
Australians want to reduce drunk driving by random breathalyzers use.
In Ghana, there is support for a national ambulance service.
Malaysians want to change the road infrastructure to improve safety.
The United States of America wish to increase seatbelt safety through the campaign “Click It or Ticket.”
The Vietnamese want to improve the rate of helmet use by law enforcement.
Source: Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020 / World Health Organization .
– 157: The number of drivers arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
– 2: The number of people killed on our roads last week.
Will you be in the numbers next week ?
Ask yourself this painful issue as many times as it takes because behind each number there is a real person: Your father, your brother, your child, your spouse, your neighbor or even a stranger, and the stranger is a real person!
Each time you use the car on the road, you can help reduce these numbers.
Authoritative driving is a step towards better road safety.
You can change everything, it is you who are the master of your destiny!
And I sincerely believe that we should look at such an image being aware that tomorrow might be us!
The Smile of a Firefighter:
I Love You Very Much:
How to Handle Your Teenager’s First Car Accident
By Guest Author: Marie Sulenski
All parents worry about their teen drivers getting into a car accident. Joanne Helperin of Edmunds Inc. told Disney Family that, statistically speaking, there’s a good chance a teen driver will be involved in an accident during the first 12 months of driving. We’re not saying it’s going to happen… we’re just saying it could. Read this before it does:
Get More Involved
Take this step long before you hand your teenager the keys. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) told Forbes that parental involvement is the most critical factor in reducing the risk of accidents for teenagers. Teenagers who are given supportive yet direct rules regarding their driving are half as likely to get into a crash, and 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while driving.
Teach your teen safe driving habits and agree upon ground rules when he or she is behind the wheel. Driving-Tests.org offers a variety of resources, including a parent-teen driving contract you can print out. Use it as a guide to set rules, penalties and a mutual understanding of what is expected.
Parents should also take advantage of graduated driver licensing programs in their respective states. These enable teen drivers to gradually gain experience in different driving situations.
The first few moments when both parties exit their vehicles and begin communicating typically go a long way in determining the outcome of the incident. Remind your teenager: Less is more. The only information he is required to give the other party is insurance, driver’s license and contact information. Discussing the particulars of the accident itself is discouraged.
Your teen should never admit an accident was his fault, even if it seems obvious that it was. The admission can be used against him in administrative proceedings or court (if it gets that far). Instead, instruct him to use his smartphone to take several pictures of the scene. This includes photos of the damage both cars sustained, the interior of the car, the surrounding scene, etc. Many insurance providers now have accident apps that allow you to snap and upload photos directly to them.
The New Car
Hopefully the first accident your teenager is involved in is of the fender-bender variety. There will, of course, be cases in which the car is totaled or the repairs are so costly it makes more sense to get a new vehicle. Whether you will help pay for the new car is up to you, but this could be used as an incentive for safe driving. You could pay half of the monthly payment each month they go without an accident and moving violation. You could also pay for a less expensive car in cash and forgive portions of the payback from your teenager based on the same conditions.
Finally, Remember This
Accidents are going to happen with teenage drivers. Well-prepared, involved parents can mitigate the anxiety that comes with them. The most important thing is your teenager’s health and well-being. Remind him of this, too. Cars can be replaced; people can’t.
About the Author:
Marie is entertainment and lifestyle freelance writer who dreams of writing the next great American novel.
resqme, Inc. is proud to report that Jeanna Marie from Pennyslvania recently used her resqme tool that was gifted to her a few years ago to help save a trapped driver. Her account of the incident from her Facebook page:
Late this afternoon, I came upon a 4 car accident moments after it happened at a busy intersection in Shadyside. The driver (who allegedly caused the accident) apparently went into diabetic shock and was stuck in his vehicle that wrecked into a sign post and was smoking badly from the engine (scary sight after seeing images from the Paul Walker accident). He couldn’t get out of the truck and we couldn’t get into him. I grabbed my ResQMe from my car (that my mom gave me a few years ago) and was able to easily and quickly break the 2 side windows so we could pull him out and away from the burning vehicle. Pleeeeeeease consider getting one of these handy gadgets for you and all of your loved ones. They break glass and cut seat belts if you are ever stuck in your car. At only $10 they are totally worth it (would make a great stocking stuffer)! http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000IDYKNC
We want to commend Jeanna Marie for her life-saving efforts and the bravery she displayed in responding to this vehicle emergency. We’re thrilled to see the effectiveness of our resqme tool in everyday situations. Please contact us if you ever have a similar story to share!
Car entrapment is a serious threat on the road. Whether it’s due to flood, fire, or car accident, seconds count when it comes to escaping your vehicle. For Donna Uzzi, the tragic death of her son, Anthony, in a car accident that flipped the vehicle he was in into a canal was a wake-up call to the threat of getting trapped in a car. Wanting to honor her son and prevent another parent from ever experiencing her same pain, Donna started Think First For Safety Corp. She hopes to use Think First for Safety Corp. to spread awareness about car entrapment and driver safety. Donna promotes the resqme tool as a necessary aspect of driver preparation and education.
Donna Remembers Anthony
Donna remembers Anthony with a mother’s fondness. Of him, she says, “Anthony was a very outgoing young boy with a large circle of friends. When he wasn’t at school, he was with his friends at the beach or playing sports at the park. Growing up he played all sorts of sports, but it was basketball that he lived for. He would always be at the park playing basketball. Anthony was even practicing with the Coral Springs Travel Basketball Team hoping he would get on. He knew the coach for many years and he was training him. Unfortunately, Anthony passed before he could be told that he made the team, the team agreed to put him on anyway, gave him the No. 1 and played with one less player. The team won State Champion for his division. When they won it was wonderful and very emotional for all of us.”
As Donna Uzzi recalls, “The day started out as a typical Saturday.” It was Homecoming night in Coral Springs, Florida. Donna’s son, Anthony Almonte, was out with friends celebrating. That fall day in 2009, Donna remembers that she, “went about [her] errands and Anthony stayed in all day. It was homecoming and due to the cost he wasn’t able to go. Anthony told me that him and his friends were just going to hang out with other kids that weren’t going to homecoming. I didn’t worry as he was turning 17, I wasnt having curfew problems and he was with good kids.”
From what was explained to Donna by Anthony’s friends, “they were at a friend’s house with another group of friends they knew from school. The driver decided to go for a quick ride to pick up another friend. [She] was told that when he came back he planned on driving Anthony and his other two friends home. Anthony asked if he could go along with them and proceeded to get in the car with the other three boys.”
While on the main road, the boys were involved in a car accident and hit a guard rail causing the posts to collapse and act as a ramp, which in turn, helped flip the car into the water of the canal. The car wound up upside down in the water. Only one of the boys was able to get out. The other three, including Anthony, were not saved in time. Anthony did not sustain serious injuries from the crash, but his death was a result of being submerged underwater inside the vehicle.
Before Anthony’s tragic accident, car entrapment wasn’t a major cause of concern for Donna. “Before this accident, it never occurred to me that it would be so difficult to get out of your car when it’s under water. I am amazed how little people think of the possibility when it happens so often. Now I notice so many canals that are not properly protected by guard rails.” According to witness reports regarding the accident, “They ended up having to break the windows. I know they ended up having to call for knives to cut the seatbelts. I know they popped the tires as well…they had to roll the car. I’m not sure exactly why they had to roll the car but I know they had to roll the car while it was in the water to get it to be right side up. He was speaking about the police rolling the car. What he didn’t know is that they had to roll the car to get my son out.”
Donna and the resqme tool
Donna believes the resqme tool can help with her cause. “I like and promote the resqme key chain tool for various reasons:
1) It’s affordable
2) It’s easily accessible anywhere when it’s on your key chain
3) If everyone in the car has one on their keychain, everyone is prepared. If only the driver has one, every one else can easily find the steering wheel for the keys. They don’t have to look under seats or in the glove compartment and waste precious time.
4) Having a resqme on your keychain is a constant reminder of what happened to Anthony and therefore I hope a constant reminder of what to do to protect yourself.”
Think First for Safety Corp.
When you ask Donna Uzzi how Anthony’s death has changed her, she responds, “Too many ways to list, however, I do have faith in God and I believe that everything happens for a reason. I feel this would not have happened to my son if there wasn’t something we all didn’t need to learn.” Donna wanted to do more than just remember Anthony. She wanted to help educate her community. Donna started Think First for Safety Corp to get involved with driver education, safety events, and teen driving safety awareness. “My job now is to bring awareness that what happened to Anthony, could happen to anyone. We all need to THINK, Together we can Help Inspire Necessary Knowledge. Educate ourselves and save our loved ones. It is now my personal mission to make sure everyone has a resqme and knows what to do if they should ever find themselves trapped in a car.”
You can get a resqme tool through Think First for Safety here.
U.S. Census Bureau crash facts show there were 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents in the United States in 2009. Almost 14,000 of those involved more than one vehicle. The total reflects incidents that include everything from single vehicle rollovers to car/pedestrian incidents and minor fender benders to multi-car pile-ups on the expressway.
Even though a wreck is unsettling, there are a few things that everyone involved in every type of accident ought to do. So what do you do if you are cruising down the street, headed out of town for a day, and someone runs a red light and T-bones you? Here are a few tips to keep you focused.
Prevent More Damage
Turn off the vehicle. Running the engine with a leaking radiator could lead to engine damage from overheating. Damaged fuel lines and gas tanks pose fire hazards. Sparks from idling cars increase the potential for ignition. Compromised parking and braking mechanisms can’t be trusted to keep a car stationary.
Call Your Folks
Call your family or friends to let them know you’re alright. No one wants to flip on the tube and see a son’s, sister’s or mother’s car being loaded onto a wrecker. You might need a ride and some help to keep your head together. Call someone who can come help you, and let others know you’re in good hands.
If your phone is damaged, ask to borrow one from a witness or the other people involved in the crash. By the way, you can get insurance for theft, loss and damage from GoCare.com for both old and new phones, and they usually get it back to you within two to three days.
Document the Scene
Whether it is minor or your ride is totaled, before you move your car, take photos with your smartphone and email them to yourself. This is one of the top five tips for people involved in an accident from InsuranceHotline.com. Emailing the photos establishes the time and date if you end up in court.
Insurance companies recommend keeping a disposable camera in the glove box, since even if you have a smartphone, it might be damaged in the wreck. The big box stores, Walgreens and CVS have several disposable cameras for less than $10 with flash, so you’ll be covered for daytime or nighttime accidents.
Cars.com recommends you take photos of the scene, the people involved and vehicle damage. Get the name, badge number, contact information and the accident report number before the officer leaves the scene.
Get at least two estimates from reputable body shops. Look for companies that offer free estimates and a lifetime warranty on parts and labor. Schedule your repair service as soon as possible to get back on the road faster.
It is hard to stay calm when you are involved in an accident, so prepare early if you can. Keep a checklist in your glove box to keep you focused.
Guest Author: Quincy Mathers
Born and raised in Detroit, it just so happens Quincy is an auto expert. He hopes to open his own dealership in the Southwest someday soon, but in the meantime he is happy writing about cars and the auto industry.