William E. Van Tassel: Being involved in a traffic collision can be traumatic, even when everyone walks away uninjured. It's important to know what to do after a crash, so you can keep stress under control. Here are three simple steps to take after you've been in the collision. It's as easy as A, B, C.
First, A is for assist the injured. Your first duty is to quickly check for injured people and call 911. If you're certified to render first-aid, do so to address block breathing, shock and severe bleeding. If not, make the injured comfortable as you wait for emergency services.
Second, B is for be visible. It's critical now to control the scene and that means making sure that the scene is visible to approaching drivers. If possible, move vehicles out of the path of traffic and use hazard flashers, flares and reflective triangles to warn any approaching drivers.
Third, C is for communicate. If your call to 911 did not summon the police, you may need to contact them directly. They will prepare any needed reports containing details about the collision which maybe needed later for insurance and other purposes.
It's worth noting that you should avoid admitting responsibility or discussing the circumstances involved with anyone other than police or an authorized claims representative. Collision scenes are stressful for everyone involved. So try to keep your cool and be polite and helpful with everyone at the scene.
A collision can be a real pain, but it doesn't have to turn into a nightmare. By following these steps immediately after a collision, you will be prepared to deal with anything that follows.