What do I do if I get into a car accident?

Cropped Photo: Morgan / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

HARRISON COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) -- Driving is no easy task. It takes a lot from a driver. It requires knowing how to apply the rules of the road, understanding vehicle handling and of course driving responsibly.

However, in seconds, it can take an unexpected turn. According to multiple sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average number of car accidents averages to six million in the U.S. each year.

Now, the question is "what do I do if I get into a car accident?"

"The first thing you should do is obviously check to see, make sure you're not injured or anybody in the car is injured and then you check on the people in the other car," said Chief Josh Thomas from the Weston Police Department.

Once that step is taken, it's best to move to a safe area if possible, such as the shoulder of the road.

"Don't leave the vehicles in the roadway. If they're in a wide turn where no one can see you, then someone can came up by the turn and not know that they're there." said Thomas. "If it's going to cause a hazard to leave the vehicles in the road, we ask for them to move them."

Next is to call police.

"The first priority is to make sure the accident scene doesn't get any worse. Then he will collect the drivers license and registration, insurance information from both vehicles and statements from the involved parties," he said.

Furthermore, document the scene. If you have a smartphone, snap some pictures that you can show when you claim to your insurance company.

"After that, they just have to call their insurance company and report to them what happened and make sure the agency has the [police] report," said Thomas.