You’re driving along without a care in the world and suddenly, something unexpected happens. Your car starts acting weird, you get into an accident or you need to get to safety as soon as possible. It can be nerve-racking when there’s a driving emergency, but fear not, because we’ve got some super tips to help you know what to do.
Step #1: Don’t Panic
Whatever happens, stay cool. Take a breather, calm yourself and handle the situation like a boss.
Step #2: Check Yourself and Any Others Involved
Our cars can be repaired and replaced, but our bodies aren’t so easy to fix. When you’re calm and collected, check to see if you’ve been harmed in any way. Once you make sure you’re fine, check to see if your passengers are safe and sound. If you got into an accident with another vehicle, make sure that they’re alright. If you feel you’ve been hurt in any way, call 911 as soon as possible.
Step #3: Get to a Safe Place
If your car is driveable, you want to move it to a safe place. Drive it to the shoulder, raise the hood and put your flashers on. If your car has one, set up the orange emergency warning triangle at least 100 feet from your vehicle. Doing this will not only keep you and your car safe, it will also warn other drivers that you’re in an emergency situation.
Step #4: Call the Police
If you’ve gotten into an accident, contact the police as soon as you’re able to. They’ll let you know if an officer needs to be present.
Step #5: Assess and Document the Damage
Whether your car’s spoiler fell off, you got into a fender bender or you were involved in a serious collision, you have to assess and document the damage for insurance purposes. Pull out your smartphone and start snapping away, making sure you photograph as much of the damage as possible. If any other drivers were involved, exchange insurance information with them.
Recalling these steps, especially in the middle of a high-adrenaline situation, will be tough. No worries though, because you can carry a condensed version right in your pocket at all times with the GEICO Mobile app. On the main page, tap Roadside Assistance, then tap Accident Help. You’ll find a shortened version of these steps, and you can even start a report on the spot. Easy, right? That’s how we like to keep it here at GEICO. Stay safe on the road and download the GEICO Mobile app today.
By Yousef Abdul-Husain