3 Things You Should Never Do if You’re in a Car Accident

We’ve compiled some smart tips to help you know what to do—and what to avoid.

Two Men Taking Each Others Insurance Information After Car Crash

by NEA Member Benefits

Key takeaways

  • Thieves can steal your identity by taking a photo of your license and using the information.
  • Don’t share personal information to anyone other than a law enforcement officer.
  • Here are our suggestions of the information you should exchange.

No matter how safely you drive, accidents can happen. Even the slightest fender bender can leave you feeling rattled. The key is to know what to do (and not do) before you’re hit by the reality of an accident.*

If you or someone you’re with is injured, the first thing you should do is call 911 or your local emergency service number. Make sure you get the medical attention needed as soon as possible.

DON’T let another driver take a photo of your license

In this digital age, the ease of capturing a photo of your license (and all the info it reflects) gives crooks and scammers the opportunity to steal your identity and possibly wreak havoc on your finances.

DON’T share more information than necessary

In most cases, you shouldn’t provide your home address, phone number or driver’s license number to anyone other than a law enforcement officer at the scene.

Here’s a checklist of the information you should exchange:

  • Each driver’s name
  • Each vehicle’s make, model, color, year and VIN
  • Each vehicle’s license plate number
  • Each driver’s insurance company, policy number and phone number

NOTE: If the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t own the vehicle, you will need to ask for his or her home address, phone number and driver’s license number.

DON’T put yourself in danger

Be aware of your surroundings: Stay in a safe location away from traffic. Take pictures only if doing so doesn’t put you or others at risk of injury or further damage. If photos aren’t possible, write down any damages and injuries.

Lastly, be sure you call your insurance company right away. The sooner you inform your insurer of your incident, the sooner they can get you back on the road.


*Every situation is different, and these are only suggestions.

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