No matter how cautious they are, most drivers will experience at least one automobile collision in their lifetime. You are more likely to suffer injuries or lose your life in a car accident than you may realize, with every third person in the driving population likely to suffer an injury or death in their lives.
This is why you should use your seat belts whenever you are in a moving vehicle to improve your chances of surviving a crash. Even if the car has airbags, make sure you and your passengers are both buckled up with your lap and shoulder belts if they are available.
Now, what to do if you see a car accident? And what if you’re involved in it? Keep reading to find out how it relates to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV):
What To Do When You See a Car Accident?
If you are the first person at a vehicle collision scene, pull completely off the road, away from the collision. Emergency personnel must be able to see the collision and stop next to it for easy access to injured persons. Do the following in this case:
- See whether there are any hurt people. Find any people who may have been ejected from a car and start searching the area. Somewhere in the weeds or tall grass, they could be hiding.
- Call 9-1-1. If someone else comes to aid, request that they dial 911.
- Make use of emergency signals like flares and triangles if at all possible. Do not light flares or smoke if a gasoline leak is present or if there are gasoline smells present.
- A person who is unable to walk and speak should be assisted. Unless the injured individual is trapped in a burning car or in other immediate peril, you should not attempt to transport them. When someone is injured and moved improperly, the injury is likely to get worse.
- If the car is not inoperable, move it out of the way of traffic. Don’t start the broken-down car until you’ve turned off the ignition (s). In other words, don’t light up! The threat posed by fire is significant.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Car Accident?
If a car accident is taking place and you’re involved in it, you must stop. If you continue, you risk being found guilty of “hit and run” and receiving harsh punishment. Someone might be hurt and in need of assistance. To report a collision to the police or California Highway Patrol, dial 9-1-1 right away (CHP). To the other driver or drivers, or to a peace officer, you must present your driver’s license, vehicle registration card, proof of financial responsibility, and current address. The name and policy number of an insurance provider serve as typical proof of financial obligation. You will be given a citation and a fine if you don’t have it. What you need to do is:
- Get your car off the road or freeway if no one is hurt or killed. Any peace officer or authorized employee may have your car taken away and impounded if you don’t move it off the road or have it removed. (22651 and 22651.05 CVC).
- If you hit, kill, or harm an animal, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Look for the owner. Call the closest humane society, police department, or CHP right away if you are unable to locate the owner. Never attempt to move a hurt animal. Never let a wounded animal perish on the ground.
- If you strike a parked car or another piece of property, try to track down the owner. Before you leave, please identify yourself. If you can’t locate the owner, leave a letter in the car or securely fastened to it that includes your name and address as well as the name and address of the owner of the car you are driving. Report the crash right at once to the CHP or, in unincorporated areas, the police.
- If anybody is killed or hurt in the crash and law enforcement was not on the site, you must immediately file a written report with the police or CHP. Any passenger who was in the car at the time of the collision may file a report on the driver’s behalf if the driver is physically unable to notify the police or CHP of a collision.
Got it, Do I Have to Report an Accident to the DMV in California?
Yes, you are required to fill out an SR 1 form and submit it to the DMV after being involved in an accident. If someone is hurt, regardless of how slight the injury is, or killed, or if property damage is over $1000, either you, your insurance agent, broker or legal representative is required to file an SR 1 report and return it to the DMV within 10 days.
Please contact us at Ticket Snipers if you have any questions about reporting accidents to the DMV in California and how to defend yourself against any type of traffic ticket. We are available 24/7 if you’d like to chat with one of our trained consultants and help you with your case!