The best way to prepare for a car accident is by trying to avoid one. In America, the top 6 causes of car accidents are the following:
- Distracted driver
- Drunk driving
- Driver fatigue
While drivers can control the top 5 scenarios by being aware and alert while driving; refraining from operating a vehicle while intoxicated on heavy medication or while sleepy; obeying posted speed limits and being patient while stuck in traffic, the only way to reduce your risk of accident due to weather is by making sure that your vehicle is safe to drive in rail, hail, sleet and snow.
Regular auto inspections will tell you whether your brake pads, windshield wipers and tires need to be replaced. Replacing these items when worn out will ensure that your car is operating in the best condition possible reducing your risk of fishtailing on slick roads and helping you to see further during rain and snow storms. It is also important to be sure that your front and rear windshield defoggers are working properly and that your headlights (including fog lamps) are fully operational.
Unfortunately, even with all the safety advancements made in the automobile industry, more than a million people worldwide with experience a car accident. If you are one of those people, the Office of Emergency Management recommends that you take the following steps:
- Try to remain calm. Take a moment to breath deep and collect your thoughts
- Assess whether you and/or your passengers have sustained any injuries. If someone is injured, dial 9-1-1 for an ambulance.
- Be aware of the traffic around you. Remain in the car until it is safe to exit. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe place and activate emergency lights.
- Report accident to police.
- Do not leave the scene until you have exchanged information with other motorists, or the police release you from the scene.
The purpose of this guidance is to keep you safe. If your vehicle sustains damage and needs repair, remember that you have the right to request that your car be towed to the automotive repair shop of your choice. You are paying for the tow so you should be able to bring your car to a repair shop you trust.