Here in Wisconsin, we have been enduring snow on top of the crazy cold and wind chill temps. Unfortunately, when the temperature dips this low, salt is relatively ineffective on roads and walkways. As you can imagine, this has resulted in lots of car crashes and accidents on highways and back-roads. Last year, we had an epic car pileup that was actually caught on video.
Seeing people hopping out of their cars in the middle of an icy highway prompted a number of discussions on how to stay safe once you’ve been in an accident.
Today, I’m partnering with MetLife Auto & Home® to go over some of the things you should keep in mind if you find yourself on the side of the road due to an accident or breakdown.
First, take as many precautions ahead of time to avoid getting into an accident as you can. Making sure your car is prepared for the weather conditions will give you an advantage when it comes to avoiding trouble.
If the unfortunate should happen, make sure that you are familiar with your insurance policy and are aware if 24/7 emergency support is available to you. Having your insurance company’s phone number preprogrammed into your phone will save you having to fumble around looking for it at an already stressful time.
Second, check on the health and safety of anyone involved in the accident. If you are unsure about any injuries, call 911 immediately. If there are no immediate medical emergencies, call the police and report the accident. They will let you know when you can expect an officer to arrive on the scene.
Unless your life is in danger where you are, most authorities recommend staying in your vehicle until help arrives. You should definitely NOT step out onto a highway where you could be struck by oncoming traffic. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location but do NOT leave the scene of the accident.
Turn on your hazard lights so that traffic approaching from the rear can easily see you. (I also employ this tool when I come upon a back up on the highway and have to slow down significantly.) If you are able to exit the car without endangering your safety, raise the hood to let others know you need assistance.
Be sure to communicate all of the important details to any law enforcement who arrive and exchange insurance information with anyone else involved in the accident. You might also want to collect contact information from any witnesses who are around.
Hopefully, you will never actually be in an accident, but if you are, knowing what to do can prevent any further injury or damage to your vehicle or yourself.
For even more information, be sure to check out MetLife’s Mastering Disaster video series.
Share your tips on staying safe on the road by posting to Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #MasteringAuto.
Disclosure: I am currently a member of the MetLife Auto & Home Insurance Blogger Program and this post is part of my involvement. I have been compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.