College for most people is a wonderful experience, but as with anywhere, accidents can and do happen. You will want to be prepared and know what to do if you get in a wreck off-campus. The following are some tips on what to do if you get in such an accident.
If there are any injuries or any thought whatsoever that someone could be hurt, the first thing you want to do is call 911. If you have any doubts at all, you need to call for an ambulance right away. Sometimes injuries do not manifest themselves right away, even serious ones. Unless it was a very minor accident, you may want to get the paramedics to come out just in case. Also, make sure it is either you or that you specifically assign someone to call 911. Sometimes everyone assumes that someone else is calling 911, and it never gets called.
If your vehicle is on fire or is dangerous in another way, you will want to get away from it. Vehicles that have a small fire can suddenly burst into flames, so you will want to make sure you are a safe distance from the vehicle if that happens. Obviously be careful about where you go into – you don’t want to walk right into the street, but find a safe place.
If it is a very minor accident, i.e. a fender bender, then you might want to first move your cars to a safe place. Drive with the person into a parking lot or another safe place. Examine your cars to assess the damage. See if it is obvious who caused it and if one person is willing to admit guilt. If the other person caused it but refuses to admit it, you may want to call the police to come and report the accident. Whoever is at fault is likely to affect whose insurance is responsible, thus if there is disparity on it you will want the police to come out and make an assessment and report. If there are witnesses they may interview them.
If no one was at fault (i.e. if someone else cut you both off and sped away) or if one person is willing to accept guilt and you trust them, then you can exchange information. Make sure to exchange your driver’s license information as well as your insurance information. You may want to consider getting their tag number. Call the insurance company right away to get things straightened out. Then you can make your own decisions about repairing the car based on cost.