What to bear in mind when you get involved in a car accident

Updated Sep 19, 2019

What do I do after this kind of tragedy?

Shocked, Terrified, Confused

Let’s face it, nobody is totally safe from accidents; it may happen to the driver, the passenger or even a passer-by. Accidents can happen anytime especially nowadays when lots of careless and reckless drivers started sprouting almost everywhere. The sad thing about this is no matter how much we take extra caution, our safety does not solely depend on us, but to those around us as well.

Shocked, terrified, confused. These three words can definitely describe what anyone would feel when involved in an accident. It could be that a drunk driver just drove past you and hitting you, or the vehicle in front of you suddenly stops without any reason, or the car simply got out of control. Accidents can come in different forms. We will never know.

That time when you don't know whether to cry or scream 

Since we cannot avoid it, even if we are exercising caution, what we could do instead is be aware and know what we can do once we encounter an accident.

>>> Read also: 9 things to do in the event of a car accident

What happens to you during a car accident?

I know it’s difficult to imagine, but let’s put ourselves in the situation like in a virtual reality version of a car race. You hit another car or you were hit by some reckless driver. What happens to you at that moment in time?

You may get disoriented

First thing, you may not know what’s happening. Or, you could be in denial that you just had a head-on collision. You will look around you and not have an idea why you’re there, what is going on and why your car got smashed. It will take a few minutes before everything will sync in.

Girl got into a collision

Everything seems to be in a blur

You may feel a lot of things

This may include blurred vision, difficulty hearing, numbness, or throbbing pain in some parts of your body. You may now feel the trauma brought about by the accident.

Girl dizzily holding her face

You may feel dizzy, you may have blurred vision and hearing loss

You may panic

If this is the first time you have ever had an accident, it is completely normal to panic. When everything has synced in and you now have a clear idea that you were engaged in a life-threatening situation, you could be overwhelmed with so many emotions all at the same time, pushing you to cry, shout or lose control of your temper.

hittin gthe panic button

It's okay to panic, but try to recover

You won’t know what to do

Since accidents are very traumatizing, you may not know what you need to do onset of the accident. People may ask how you’re doing, concerned people may ask you if you’re okay and some present first aiders on the scene might even run some tests to ensure that you’re fine. They may ask you who to call. During this time, you may not know what to do first, who to call and what to say to them.

If you have watched the TV series ‘Lost’, these kinds of things happened to the lead character Jack when the airplane crashed on the island. These scenes are also typical whenever you watch medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy. So pretty much, if you’ve never been in one (thank God), you have an idea what happens to a person during a car accident.


Completely Clueless

Now, after all, these have occurred, and you are now in sync with reality, we proceed with the next important stuff to know.

What Do I Need to Do After a Car Accident?

You are sitting outside your car, with all the commotion going on. People start to gather around the area, some concerned, some just taking videos, while some are just there to be an audience. Plus all the loud sounds coming from the sirens of ambulances and police cars just makes everything more agitating. Here are some tips on how to deal with this:

Keep some presence of mind

This will help you get yourself together and determine what needs to be done afterwards.

Pull yourself together

Snap back and stand back up

Keep your cool

I know car accidents are messy. But losing your temper will not do anything to make the situation better. Most of the time a hot-tempered driver worsens the situation, bringing it to the verge of a further argument. If things get under control in the first place, surely the situations improve. Therefore, keeping calm is crucial in this life-threatening circumstance.

'Dont lose your cool' cloud

Don't lose your temper

Stay Put

Just stay where you are and if possible, ensure that the vehicles involved are still in the same position they were in right after the collision. This will help the police determine the cause of the accident and who’s going to be responsible for the damages.

police checking accident

Stay in the area of the accident until the proper authorities arrive


Determine if you feel something in your body that needs immediate medical attention, as well as those people whose vehicles are involved too. If there’s something that needs attending to, call the hospital right away so they could send an ambulance over or ask somebody in the scene if they know something about first aid so they could provide some help.

Control the traffic in the meantime

If you’re okay and can move easily, try to ask someone to help you control the traffic flow in the vicinity. This is important so as to not cause any more accidents and hassles to passers-by. If available, you can put some safety warning devices too. If you could ask someone to manage the traffic while you attend to the scene, that would be great too.

warning sign

Let other people know that there's a road accident ahead by putting early warning devices

Call the authorities

Cars in the position, checked. All involved parties present in the scene, checked. The medical situation of everyone involved, okay. Traffic flow, okay. Now it’s time to call the authorities if they have not yet arrived. Call the police so they can inspect the scene and know what really happened and have the person responsible perform his duties to the victims. Additionally, call the nearest hospital so they could send over an ambulance or medics who could do the further medical inspection.

Medical team arrives

Call the police and medics

>>> Also check out: Post Car Accident Signs Everyone Should Be Aware Of

Call your family

If it popped up while you were driving alone, please call your family so you’ll have someone to help you out. I know some may want to avoid calling their family members so they won’t get worried, but it is best to have them join you in case there’s a need for you to be taken to a hospital.

Girl crying making phonecall

Have a family member attend to you

Be sure to get the details of all parties involved

This will help you in making sure that whoever is responsible can be easily contacted by the authorities should the need to.

Take pictures of the damages

This is for insurance claim purposes.

take photos of the accident

This will help in the investigation of the incident

Call your insurance company

This is important, so you would know what your insurance can do to cover the damages incurred. The importance of car insurance and an indepth review of available car insurances in PH can be found here.

These are some important pointers that Philkotse.com believes you should keep in mind if ever you get involved in a car accident. If it will help, keep a checklist with you at all times, so when this happens, you will be reminded of what you need to do.

>>> Visit Philkotse.com for more safe driving tips

Ivy Kristia Padura

Ivy Kristia Padura


Ivy is one of the first Philkotse's content writers. She finds joy in sharing her driving tips, particular for dealing with heavy traffic in Metro Manila, with other fellow drivers.

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