How Many Car Accidents Does the Average Person Have?

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( — October 14, 2020) — On average, a person can expect to be in three to four car accidents in their lifetime. For defensive drivers, this number is likely much lower and for reckless drivers much higher, but for your average driver, the number is three to four. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are likely to suffer serious injuries from a car accident. Although there are over six-million car accidents in the United States every year, over half of those are minor fender benders.

Still, with about 3 million injuries from car crashes each year, and about 2 million of those being serious injuries, getting out on the road does pose a serious risk. After all, cars account for 30,000 to 40,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. One crash occurs every 58 seconds, which means you need to have a structured plan in case it happens to you.

What Steps Should I Take If I’m in a Car Accident?

There are several steps that you need to take after a car accident to ensure you are in the best position regarding your health, safety, finances, and legal coverage. If you are in an accident, follow this checklist:

  • Stop your vehicle
  • Check if anyone needs help
  • Call the police
  • Collect information
  • See a doctor or go to the ER
  • Contact your insurance agency
  • Consult an attorney

Stop Your Vehicle

If it’s safe to do so and you are able, pull over to the side of the road and turn off your engine after the accident.

Check If Anyone Needs Help

First, check to see if anyone in your vehicle requires medical assistance, and then check on the occupants of the other vehicle or any pedestrians involved in the accident, assuming it is safe to do so. If anyone needs help, call 911 and be prepared to give them information about your location. Be sure to follow any instructions you may receive from them.

Call the Police

At this point, if you haven’t already called 911 to request medical assistance, then either call them or the local police station directly to report the accident. Remain at the scene until a police officer arrives to take your statement.

Collect Information

If you are not impaired by an injury, do your best to gather as much information as possible. Gather information from the other driver if you are able, get information about their vehicle, and write down everything you can remember about the crash and any factors such as weather that may have played a part. Take pictures of both vehicles and the rest of the scene if you are able.

The more information you can gather, the better you will be prepared for any potential legal and financial challenges that may occur as a result of the accident.

Seek Medical Attention

Obviously, if you are severely injured, this step will take precedence over everything else. But if your injuries are less traumatic, then after you have completed the above steps, you should seek medical attention. Even if you feel your injuries don’t warrant attention from a medical professional, there are plenty of serious injuries that aren’t immediately recognizable such as internal bleeding. Better to be safe than sorry.

When getting medical treatment, save all receipts and record all visits. Just like with collecting data at the scene of the accident, the more data you collect about your medical situation, the better prepared you will be.

Contact Your Insurance Agency

No matter who was at fault, you should contact your insurance agent as soon as possible after an accident to check-in. Depending on your coverage and the insurance situation of the other driver, your insurance company may have a role to play.

Consult an Attorney?

The necessity of this step depends mainly on the severity of the accident, but should you choose to sue the other driver for damages or if you get sued yourself, then it is a step you should most definitely take. Should the situation become a legal one, you always have the option to represent yourself but will be in a much better position if you consult with a professional.