What is the best way to protect yourself after a car accident?

What can I do to make sure I am safe after a car accident? I haven't been in one before, but I don’t want to take any chances—I want to make sure I am as prepared as possible. If I do get into a car accident, how should I protect myself?

Answer
Being prepared for the worst is the best way to stay ahead of the game! You will want to stock your car with emergency equipment and be up-to-date on what to do after an accident.
Here are a few of the items you should keep in your car at all times:
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Reflective triangles and brightly colored cloth
  • Reflective vest
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Jumper cables
  • Spare cell phone charger
  • Weather gear for the appropriate season
  • Non-perishable food and water
You can find a more comprehensive safety kit list online from the National Safety Council.
If you are involved in an accident, here is a list of actions you should take first:
  • Stop your car immediately and get out of the way of oncoming traffic.
  • Put on your hazard lights and set up the reflective safety cones or flares.
  • Check to make sure all of the people in your car and the other driver’s car are safe. Then, call an ambulance if necessary.
  • Call the police and report the incident.
  • Take pictures of the scene.
  • Call your car insurance claims department while waiting for the police to arrive.
Another good way to be prepared is by getting roadside assistance. If you don’t have roadside assistance yet, it is a good idea to either add it to your existing car insurance policy or get a stand-alone plan.
If you’re looking for a roadside assistance membership, check out Jerry’s roadside assistance program. We’ve got you covered on towing, lockouts, key replacement, and even Uber credits—and more.
Best of luck, and drive safely!
Shannon Martin
Answered on Oct 21, 2021
Shannon is an expert in personal lines liability insurance with 13 + years of insurance industry experience. She also served as a special insurance liaison to AARP members for 6 of those years. She is a graduate of UL Lafayette and currently resides in NY with her family. Shannon is also an amateur juggler, ukulele player, and is a time travel paradox theory enthusiast.
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