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What to Do if You Are in a Traffic Accident

While traffic accidents are not what people dream of getting into, unfortunately they still occur. Because car accidents happen to drivers of all ages and experience levels, it is important for all motor vehicle operators to know what to do in case they are involved in an accident. Below are some steps a driver should take if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident.

  • The first and most important thing to do in a traffic accident is pull over to a safe place and check to make sure everyone is safe.
  • Assist any individuals who are injured and then call 911 immediately. If there are any individuals who need medical assistance, be sure to let the dispatcher know.
  • After calling 911 to report the accident, exchange information with all parties involved. Key information to exchange includes: names, addresses, vehicle descriptions, insurance information, driver’s license numbers and license plate numbers.
  • If applicable, take down the information for any witnesses.

While most Illinois towns require law enforcement individuals to show up at the traffic accident and record a crash report, some do not. If a law enforcement individual does not show up to the scene of the crime, a crash report must be filed with the local police department as soon as possible. The crash report must also be filed with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Failure to report a traffic accident can result in fines and jail time.

It is important to never leave the scene of an accident. If a driver leaves the scene of a traffic accident without calling 911, then the driver will be considered a hit-and-run driver. The penalties for a hit and run driver can be as high as $25,000, up to three years in jail, and revocation of the individual’s license.

Hopefully a driver will never be involved in a traffic accident, however it is always a good idea to know what to do just in case.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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