‘Houston, We have a Problem’

By CHRISTOPHER CICCHIELLO

What to do if you get into an accident

One of these days during the great 2:10 p.m. exodus consisting of juniors and seniors tearing out of parking spots to go home or Moe’s, it is inevitable that the one moment you aren’t paying enough attention you might hear a crunch as you hit someone’s car or someone hits yours. The natural instinct is to angrily exit the car and yell at the other person, or in some cases, simply drive away.
However, leaving the scene of any accident is actually a quantifiable felony and yelling accomplishes little. So here are a few tips according to the DMV for handling that unexpected bad day down the road to make it quick and painless:
Prior to an accident: Even before an accident one should always ensure they have their car insurance, a copy of their registration, and a printed copy of an accident report form in their glove box compartment.
Immediately following an accident: Make sure your car is not in the middle of the road blocking traffic or in a potentially hazardous position. From there, assess the damage and call your parents and the police and 911 if someone is injured. Do not leave the scene of the accident for any reason! Even if it is a single car accident, evading responsibility is considered a “Hit and Run” felony, with penalties ranging from $1000 to a year in jail.
As the police arrive, they will give you instructions like call your insurance company, and you should follow any directions given by the agent.
At the scene: Even if you believe you are at fault, do not admit to the causing the accident. Take plenty of pictures of everything regarding the accident and request the other driver’s information if ever legal action were necessary down the road. Additionally, understand crashes are difficult for both parties to go through, so try and be as calm and polite as you  can.
After the accident: Be sure to get a copy of any accident reports or any police reports that were logged at the accident scene. Also, it is always advised that you document everything from receipts for new parts to a summary of a discussion with your insurance agent.
Already a crash has occurred during this school year in the parking lot, in which a car scraped the back of a student’s empty mini-van as it was pulling into a spot. Both parties involved in the incident followed all the rules laid out above after being walked through the process by security officer, Dave Perry. The individual who nicked the back of the van made sure to give their insurance info via a note left on the windshield. So while this has not been the most earth-shattering information, you never know when it will be you having to go through this  process.

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