One of the biggest frustrations for drivers is sitting in a traffic jam and then seeing that the traffic tangle was caused by a fender bender not moved off the roadway. It may make you feel better to know that this is actually illegal in Colorado, and many other states. For example, in Colorado a little known law (Colorado Revised Statues 42-4-1602) says that motorists involved in minor accidents on divided highways must move their vehicles off the road if possible. Do this only if the vehicle is drivable, no drugs or alcohol are involved, and there are no injuries.
The WRECKCHECK auto accident checklist and mobile app from the NAIC guides you through the steps to take following an accident. WRECKCHECK helps you determine what information to share, with whom, and what details are important when filing an insurance claim.
If you are involved in an accident:
Assess the situation
- Injuries? Stay put, and call 911 immediately.
- Determine if vehicles are drivable.
- Determine if drugs or alcohol are involved.
Move your car to a safe place
If your car is drivable and there are no injuries, drugs or alcohol involved, then move it to the shoulder, an emergency pullout, or off-ramp shoulder.
Name, license plate number, vehicle make, model, year, color, insurance carrier and policy number. Be cautious about sharing your address, phone number, driver's license number. State laws vary, but in most cases you need only provide your name and vehicle insurance information, which should include the name and phone number of your insurance provider. Sharing personal information such as your address and phone number may put your privacy and identity at risk. However, if another driver is unable to provide vehicle ownership and/or insurance information it is appropriate to ask for their phone number, address and driver's license number.
Report the accident
- Write down what happened as soon as possible.
- Photos and diagrams are helpful.
- Report the accident as required by law enforcement and your insurance provider.
What NOT to do after an accident:
- Move any injured persons.
- Apologize for the accident.
- Tell any party how much insurance you carry.
- Accept any money. If you do, you forfeit your right to file a claim.
- Agree to forget about the accident. Later on, the other person may file a lawsuit against you.
Also visit: Filing an Auto Claim | What If I'm Hurt in an Auto Accident