Are You Prepared for Getting Into a Traffic Collision?

Traffic is busy in Woodside, and New York drivers are not always the most patient. If you haven't been involved in a fender-bender already, you probably will be eventually—even with a new Ford equipped with Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection.

The important thing is to have a plan, and know what to do next.

The first step to take after any accident is to make sure the other driver and any passengers are unhurt. If there are injuries that require immediate medical attention, call 911. Only give assistance if the accident victim consents to being helped, or if they are in immediate danger—for instance, if they stopped breathing, or their vehicle is on fire.

If nobody is seriously injured, and your car is still drivable, pull over to the side of the road and turn on your four-way flashers.

Call the police to file a report. This is especially crucial if anyone sustained injury, but it's a good idea even if everyone at the accident scene says they're fine. Adrenaline can mask pain, and they may decide to file a liability claim against you later.

Never admit fault when giving a statement to police. Describe what happened accurately, but avoid saying things like, "It was my fault," or "It was because I was distracted." Let them decide if it was your fault, even if you feel responsible.

If the police do not come to the accident scene, be sure to record everything thoroughly with your camera, and get the other driver's name, license plate number, and insurance policy.

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