An auto accident can be distressing, but knowing what to do in advance can help you deal with the unexpected.

The minutes and hours following an accident can be hectic and adrenaline-filled. Please print and place a copy of this list in each of your vehicles as a reference tool to help you remember should you ever have the need!


  1. Remain calm.
  2. Check for injuries.
  3. Do not leave the scene of the accident.
  4. Assess the scene. Do not get out of your car if it is not safe to do so.
  5. Move to a safe location if you or your car is creating a safety hazard or if you’re concerned with your safety.
  6. Contact the police, or dial 911 if needed – Tell them where you are, what happened and if there are injuries.
  7. Stay at the scene in a safe place to gather information.
  8. Write down/record your record of the events including location (intersection/address/exit number) – Use this accident report form.
  9. Exchange information with the other driver(s). Get: name, address, phone, insurer’s name, insurer’s phone, email address and policy number for all of the drivers involved, including the number of occupants in the other car(s).
  10. Get names, emails, and phone numbers of witnesses to the car accident.
  11. If the police respond, find out where to get a copy of the police report for your claim. If the police do not come to the scene, ask police dispatch where you can file an incident report.
  12. If emergency services respond: police department, police report number, phone number, officer name, badge number, ambulance company, fire department.
  13. Contact your insurance agent and company and report the accident.
  14. Do not: advise your coverage limits or admit fault.



Above all – STAY SAFE. DO NOT take photos at the scene if doing so will put you or others at risk of injury or further damage!

Take photos of:

  1. Damage (vehicles and/or property)
  2. Accident scene (road conditions/skid marks/debris in roadway/vehicle positions)
  3. Accident scene location identifiers (intersection/address/exit number)
  4. Identification (clear photos of insurance cards, license plates, etc.

Make sure you keep a copy of these tips and this handy accident report form with your car registration so if you have an accident you can handle the results in a responsible manner.

We hope you enjoyed this post. If there is anything else we can do to help you feel free to call us at (805) 466-2446 (Atascadero) or (805) 239-8752 (Paso Robles). And be sure to stay connected with us on Facebook as well!