Practicing good driving behavior can ensure the 2Know when you shouldn't drive. 3.) Get Crucial Information
safety of your passengers, your loved ones and (or get into a car with someone who shouldn't.) Always have a pen and paper in the glove box. Ask
yourself! You can reduce your likelihood for being Never drive when you are impaired. Don't drive the other operator for their license and registration.
"at-fault" for a crash by taking simple measures to when you've been drinking alcohol, excessively Contact information from the other driver such as
drive safely! But, not all crashes can be prevented! fatigued, or for any other reason, unable to control their name, current address, date of birth, license
The Massachusetts Safety Officers League wants your vehicle. The consequences of driving drunk – number and telephone number will be needed. Also,
you to read and understand the information in this breaking the law, going to jail, paying a hefty fine, note the color, make, model, license plate number
safety tri-fold to avoid injury in a crash and learn being killed or killing another person – are simply and Insurance Company name from their
what proper steps to take if you are in a crash. not worth the price of taking a taxi home or registration. If the other driver “doesn’t have” or
Always wear your seatbelt. spending the night at a friend's house. Similarly, “can’t find” their license or registration, Call the
Seat belts don't prevent crashes. They prevent don't get into the car with a driver who should not police! They may be unlicensed or unregistered! A
injuries and they do save lives! There’s no excuse be driving. As the sayings go, police officer can help you get all this information,
for not taking a second to buckle up. Seatbelts help and will often have a form for you to exchange with
keep you restrained in the vehicle upon collision
Arrive Alive! the other driver(s) involved.
and prevent injuries associated with ejection which Don't Drink And Drive! 4.) Identify Witnesses
always results in serious injury or more often, And Get the names and contact information of anyone
death. Safety advocates say that seat belts save who saw the accident. If you can, do this quickly.
9,000 lives per year. So, always wear your seat belt! Watch Out For the Other Guy! Often, people who saw the collision will stop for a
Drive within the posted speed limit. 4and and short time, but leave before the police arrive. Other
Speed limits are in place for a reason! Driving at No one ever expects to be in a car crash, but many motorists, passengers or pedestrians can be critical
safe speeds reduces the chance of accidents and crashes happen every day. Statistics show that witnesses. Get their name and phone number.
saves lives. Driving at speeds “greater than nearly all of us will be in a car crash at some time! 5.) Do Not Discuss Fault
reasonable” risk injury to yourself and others! It’s important to know what to do when a crash Don’t get in to an argument and blame the other
Consider the weather conditions. happens. It can make all the difference if you, your driver even if they were clearly at fault. But, if the
Along with speed limits, it is important to factor in family or friends are hurt and need help. Here are: other driver admits it was their fault, make a note
weather conditions. Driving the posted speed in of it. Jot down precisely what you remember them
rain, snow or ice is not a good idea! Driving too fast 10 Tips on “what to do saying. "Fault" is often a complex determination
reduces your reaction time. You may not be able to based on the facts and complicated laws. Leave that
if you are in a car crash.” issue for the police to decide.
stop in time to avoid striking an object in the road, a
1 6.) Write a Note to Yourself Afterward
young child, an animal, or a pedestrian. Drive
1.) Get Help After the accident write a note to yourself (and
within the posted speed limits at all times and
Call 911 if anyone is hurt. Medical care within the possibly for your attorney, if you later need one).
consider all the weather factors when you drive.
first hour after an injury is critical.
Recognize and reduce distractions. Include all the information you have gathered and
2.) Notify the Police can remember while it is fresh in your mind.
A large percentage of crashes are caused by some
If anyone is injured, or if there is significant Explain how the accident happened as best you can.
form of Driver Distraction. They often happen the
property damage, you can not just exchange names Drawing a sketch or diagram of the collision will be
instant a driver stops paying attention. Checking
and phone numbers with the other driver and leave a helpful memory aid later on. It may be months, or
your appearance, answering the phone, trying to
the scene. Call the police! An official police report even years, before the insurance companies fully
read directions, sending a text message or even
should be taken at the scene! In minor crashes with resolve any claims.
looking at another accident are just a few of the
no injuries, it may be possible to exchange 7.) Call Your Insurance Agent
ways accidents occur. Multi-tasking while driving
information and submit your own crash reports All insurance policies require you to notify your
is not worth your life or anyone else's for that without a police report. But, if you have any doubt
matter. If you need to make a phone call, have a insurance company after a crash. Unnecessary delay
about possible injuries or the extent of the damage, in telling your insurance company about the crash
snack, read directions, or send a text message, take
Notify the police and let the responding officer could result in a denial of your claim.
a minute to do so with your car safely parked!
make the decision!
8.) File Necessary State Crash Reports
In Massachusetts, if anyone is injured or there is
significant property damage to the vehicles, you
must file your own copies of the crash report in
addition to the report taken by the police officer.
A State Crash Report Form can be obtained online
from the Registry of Motor Vehicles at
or they can usually be obtained at local police
departments. The form must be completed and filed 10 Tips on what to
within 5 days after the accident. Copies should be
This is the basic information you’ll need to
sent to: the local police department where the
crash occurred, your insurance company, and to
properly exchange information after a minor do in a Car Crash!
the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. crash with no injuries and minor damage.
99.) Take a Picture if You Can Please, keep a copy in your glove box!
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Today most
of us have cameras built into our cell phones. If it’s Operator Name - _______________________
safe to do so, take pictures of the vehicles before Operator Address - _____________________
they are moved. Pictures of the damage and ______________________________________
position of the vehicles can be very important. They Operator Telephone - ___________________
can prove how the accident happened and document Operator Date of Birth - _________________
the force of the collision. If you are not able to take Operator License Number - ______________
pictures, ask one of your passengers or a witness to License Expiration Date - ________________
do it for you. Remember to take pictures of your
Vehicle Year - _________________________
injuries. It is particularly important to take a picture
of any seat belt bruise on the front of your shoulders Vehicle Make - ________________________
and chest to keep the other side from claiming that Vehicle Model - ________________________
you were not wearing a seat belt. Vehicle Registration Number - ___________
110.) Protect Your Rights Registration Expiration Date - ___________
Act quickly and correctly after a motor vehicle Vehicle Insurance Company - ____________
accident. Deciding fault can be complicated. Where is damage to vehicle located?_______
Insurance coverage, and how you will get your ______________________________________
medical bills paid, can be very confusing and Passenger information - _________________
frustrating. Insurance adjustors may call and ask ______________________________________
you to give them a tape recorded statement. Should ______________________________________
you do that? You may have many questions about
your rights, and your obligations to insurance
representatives. You may have questions whether If the operator “doesn’t have” or “can’t
the insurance companies are treating you fairly. find” their proper paperwork, call the local
Don’t jeopardize your rights. You may want to call police to ensure that:
an experienced attorney who specializes in 1.) the operator is properly licensed,
accident and injury claims for advice and answers 2.) the vehicle is properly registered, and
to your questions. Whenever you drive, 3.) the vehicle is properly insured! MSOL Membership
Be Alert. Be Aware and Be Safe! Don’t be sorry later that you didn’t call! Application Website