Accidents can happen at any time, and they do. There have been 19 traffic fatalities in the state of Ohio already in the first month of this new year. But, the winter is especially treacherous around here. Rain, wind, ice and snow can all make driving extra dangerous this time of year.
Are you prepared if an accident happens? Emotions can run high and cloud judgment, making a collision an especially difficult experience. If you have been involved in a crash, or have witnessed one, it’s important to know what to do. What are your responsibilities? Who should you call first? When an emergency strikes, preparation can make all the difference.
What to Do When a Collision Occurs
1. Assess the Condition of Everyone Involved.
Safety is always the first priority. If you have just seen or been in an accident, the first concern should be checking the condition of each driver and passenger involved. If someone is injured or seems to be in shock, call 911 immediately to request help. The emergency operator may give you further instructions on how to care for an injured person while the first responders are in route.
2. Decide Whether to Move the Vehicles or Not.
Use your best judgment in this situation. If you and the car would be safer, consider moving it out of the way of traffic. If driving conditions are dangerous, visibility is poor, other vehicles are traveling fast and/or traffic is heavy, it may be better to move the vehicle to the side or shoulder of the road. This will help prevent causing other accidents.
You should only move the car if it is clear who is the at-fault driver. Ohio is an at-fault car insurance state; this means that the driver at fault is responsible for all the related expenses and damages. For the sake of security, take photos of the car and scene before moving it.
If there are many cars involved or it’s best not to move the car from the scene of the accident, stay put. In these cases, you’ll want to stay inside your car with your seatbelt on, and make sure that your car is visible with your hazard lights. You may also want to set out flares or road cones to ensure that other drivers modify their speed when approaching the crash.
3. Call the Authorities.
If the accident resulted in injury, significant damage to cars or property, or multiple cars are involved, it’s best to notify the authorities.
Akron Police and Fire Contact Information
Here are the most important phone numbers you’ll need if you’re involved in an accident in the Akron area.
|Local Emergency Department||Phone Number||Address|
|Fire – Police – Medical Emergency||911|
|To report Non-Emergency Accidents||800-877-7PATROL|
|Ohio State Highway Patrol||(614) 466-2660||1970 West Broad Street,
Columbus, Ohio 43223
|Summit County Patrol||(330) 535-2783||108 Fir Hill Street
Akron, Ohio 44304
|Akron Police Dept.||(330) 375-2552||217 S High St, Akron, OH 44308|
|Akron Fire & EMS Department||(330)375-2410||146 South High ST, Akron, Ohio 44304|
For minor accidents and fender benders, it’s not necessary to call any emergency number. Drivers can exchange contact and insurance information before leaving the scene. Though you should still report the accident to the state patrol. In the state of Ohio, motorists must file a crash report through the state BMV within six months of the date of the accident in the following situations:
- If someone is injured.
- If there is at least $400 in property damage value.
- If the driver or car owner is uninsured or financially unable to cover the damage.
Some insurance companies require you to have filed an accident report for the claim to be processed. This can be handled at the local police station or filling out the report form (linked above) on the DMV website.
4. Exchange Information.
With law enforcement on the scene, you will need to exchange information. You’ll want to write down the other driver’s:
- Full name,
- Car make and model,
- Driver’s license information,
- Phone number,
- Insurance policy information.
And you will need to share the same information with them. Consider taking pictures of driver’s licenses, license plates, written and printed information as an extra copy.
5. Gather Evidence.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you should take photos of the damage to your car and/or property. You should also take pictures of the road conditions, vehicle positions, accident location and scene. Witnesses may be key in proving fault, settling insurance issues, and protecting against lawsuits later on. For this reason, you should also gather information contact information from other vehicle occupants and anyone who saw the accident.
6. Don’t Talk About Fault.
Insurance companies recommend avoiding the topic of fault at the scene. Even if it seems clear to you, this may spark an argument or be used against you during the claims process.
7. Contact the Insurance Company.
The final step is contacting your insurance company to learn about your coverage, towing, and a temporary rental vehicle while it’s in the shop. Ask about the options for getting collision damage repaired. But—remember—you have the right to choose the shop trusted with fixing your car. Insurance companies have preferred networks that help them save money, but they don’t provide any extra advantage for cars or car owners.
8. Request a Repair Estimate.
At this point, it’s time to give Alexander Body & Fender a ring. You only need one estimate that is done well by a collision repair shop that you trust. We will recommend the best strategy for restoring your car to its condition before the accident and getting you safely back on the road.
Call Alexander Body & Fender
At the end of a long day dealing with a collision, you want to work with professionals who know how to handle the issues that come up and get your car repaired in a timely manner. Trust Alexander Body & Fender who have championed the Gold Standard since 1928.
Our staff will work with your insurance company and assist you through the claims process. We will also set you up with a rental car to get you on your way faster. Lastly, you’ll rest easy knowing that all work done will be of high quality. Contact Alexander today.