How to Handle Car Accidents

How to Handle Car Accidents

Asheville is one of the most visited cities in North Carolina. It has also been among the fastest-growing regions in the South for years, even before the global pandemic. Since 2020, the population of western North Carolina has been growing exponentially. 

There are more drivers and vehicles on the road today than ever before. All that driving adds up to an average of six million accidents each year in the United States alone. That breaks down to about 16,438 accidents every day. The reality of driving is if you do it long enough, you’re almost guaranteed to be involved in one.

 

Facts About Vehicle Accidents in Asheville

Asheville is no exception. There are upwards of ten million tourists visiting western North Carolina each year, in addition to thousands of new residents. 

Our area is surrounded by the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains, creating some of the most stunning scenery you can find on the East Coast. It is no wonder we are so popular among visitors and for people relocating from all over the world. 

Of course, more vehicles on our crowded, curvy highways lead to more accidents. There were fewer crashes in 2020, likely due to the effects of social distancing and the rise in working remotely. 

However, from 2016 to 2019, there were more than 5,000 accidents in our area each year, leading to over a thousand injuries and multiple fatalities annually. Many are involved in accidents that are no fault of their own. 

  • Fact: Folks who don’t wear their seat belt are 30X more likely to be ejected from their vehicle during a crash. Despite those odds, and despite the fact that wearing one drastically reduces your risk of death by 45% and serious injury by 50%, amazingly, one out of seven vehicle occupants still don’t wear a seat belt.

As reflected by the numbers above, accidents happen quite frequently. Unfortunately, if you drive or ride in a vehicle daily, you will find out firsthand how statistically probable it is to get in an accident. 

There are a number of steps to take before and after a crash. Here’s what you should know about car accidents.

What to Do Before a Vehicle Accident

Even though no one wants to be involved in an accident, you should still make sure you’re prepared in case it happens.

Carry Safety Items in Your Vehicle

Making sure you have the correct supplies in your vehicle is one of the most critical things you can do before an accident. Whether you are setting out on a road trip or just commuting to work, make sure you have the following emergency supplies:

  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • Emergency road flares
  • First aid kit
  • Paperwork related to insurance
  • Cell phones that are fully charged

While we hope you never have to use these things, they are necessary for the event of an emergency in your vehicle.

Invest in Good Insurance

Even if the accident is not your fault, having all the coverage you need from a quality insurance company will help avoid headaches after a crash. If you drive in the Asheville area, good insurance is worth the investment. 

Practice Your Driving Skills

While experiencing an accident may seem inevitable, you can certainly reduce the probability by driving well. Some driving tips for our area include:

  • Keep your car well maintained so that it is unlikely to break down in traffic.
  • Rotate tires as often as the manufacturer recommends. 
  • Replace worn tires before they become a safety hazard. 
  • Slow down during inclement weather. You want to avoid hydroplaning in the rain or breaking traction in snow. 
  • Pay attention to weather forecasts, so you can know when to stay off the roads. 
  • If possible, avoid driving during the busiest times of the day. 
  • Avoid busy roads during tourist season and frequent holiday travel days. 
  • Drive defensively and leave space between yourself and the car in front of you. 
  • Check your mirrors frequently. 
  • Don’t text and drive. Generally, avoid distractions that take your focus away from the task of driving.

Do what you can to avoid an accident. 

What to Do After a Vehicle Accident

If you do find yourself in an accident, here are some steps to take to make sure everyone is as safe as possible.

  • As soon as the accident happens, make sure everyone in your vehicle is safe, and check on the extent of their injuries. Contact 911 immediately if there is any suspicion of injuries.
  • Turn on your hazard lights. Approaching vehicles are likely not expecting to encounter an accident, so flashing lights can alert them ahead of time and keep you safe from a second event.
  • Call 911 ASAP to get the proper responders in motion as quickly as possible.
  • For safety’s sake, if possible, you should move your vehicle out of the path of traffic, provided your injuries do not prevent you from being able to do so, and your vehicle can be moved. If this isn’t possible, YOU MAY BE SAFER STAYING IN YOUR VEHICLE UNTIL EMERGENCY RESPONDERS ARRIVE ON SCENE!
  • If you are uninjured and able to exit your vehicle safely, check on other vehicles. Do not, however, attempt to assign blame or engage in any sort of debate about who caused the accident. 
  • Take plenty of pictures. Write down all that you can remember. This will help keep your thoughts straight later when it’s time to file your claim and tell your side of the story. If you are using a smartphone to take photos, make sure they are uploaded to the cloud or downloaded onto a hard drive, so you have them when you need them. 
  • Make sure the accident is reported as soon as possible. 
  • Contact your insurance company, even if the accident was not your fault.
  • Even if there were no apparent injuries, go to the doctor. Adrenaline and stress may mask pain, and you may not realize you have been injured. Keep up with all medical bills and expenses for all insurance claims. 
  • Make sure your vehicle is repaired by professionals. 

After Things Settle Down

So, now you have a vehicle that needs to be repaired. You have a number of rights as a consumer, and knowing (and exercising) these rights can be vital to making sure your vehicle is repaired safely and properly. 

For instance, did you know that in almost all cases, you are not bound to use the suggested repair facility? That’s right; you have the right to have your vehicle repaired wherever you prefer! 

You also have the right to request that only Original Equipment (known as O.E.) collision replacement parts be used. This doesn’t guarantee that your request will be honored, though, so check your specific state’s laws regarding collision repair, as well as your policy’s limitations.

First Aid Collision has years of experience and a wealth of expertise in repairing vehicles that have been damaged during accidents in the Asheville area. We will be forthright about whether your car can be safely repaired

If your automobile is still road-worthy, we deliver the best customer experience to help ensure your accident recovery is as quick and painless as possible. If it’s not road-worthy, we’ll clearly say so.

Whether you have been in an accident or your car has been damaged and is in need of body repair, contact the experts at First Aid Collision in Asheville to have it repaired by professionals