Safety Center

What To Do After a Car Crash

Accidents happen

Statistics show that most drivers will be involved in an automobile crash at some point. This article provides tips for handling the ordeal safely, if and when it happens.

Be prepared

Keep the following items in your car:

  • A cell phone, medical alert information, emergency contacts.
  • Pen, paper, emergency road kit.
  • First aid supplies, insurance and vehicle registration cards.

Safety comes first

If you are not in a safe place, quickly move to one, and:

  • Do not get out of the car if it is unsafe.
  • Keep your seatbelt on.
  • Turn on your hazard lights.
  • Certain states, including Maryland, require drivers to promptly move their car out of the flow of traffic after an incident so that the car does not obstruct traffic. This should only be done when there are no injuries associated with the incident.
  • If it is safe, set up emergency flares or reflective triangles.

Check for injuries

  • Remember: some injuries are not visible.
  • If you or others involved are feeling even slightly ill, get examined by a healthcare professional.

Call 911

  • If you or others are injured, call 911 immediately.
  • Ensure that you provide all relevant details to the 911 dispatch.
  • Provide your name and phone number.
  • Give details about the incident site — if you are unsure of where you are, give the approximate location with landmarks.
  • If the police cannot arrive at the scene, file an incident report at the local police station.

Obtain the other driver's information

For insurance purposes, repair costs and potential mediation, it is important to collect relevant information. After moving your vehicle into a safe place out of the flow of traffic, collect information from the other driver, including:

  • Driver's license.
  • Name, address and phone number.
  • Insurance card.
  • License plate number.

Gather important facts

If it is a minor crash and you can do so safely, take pictures of all the vehicles involved, the road, and any other damage caused by the crash. Get the following details in writing:

  • Year, make, model and color of the car.
  • Date, time and weather conditions.
  • Witnesses' names, phone numbers and addresses.

NJM will help you get back on the road. In most cases, our claims adjuster will contact you within 24 hours of filing your claim to discuss your vehicle repair, rental insurance coverage, and will schedule an inspection.

NJM Insurance Group’s Commitment to Safety

NJM’s enduring commitment to safety can be traced back to our earliest days — with a focus that has expanded from improving conditions in manufacturing facilities to helping keep customers safe on the roads and at home. NJM is a leader in personal and commercial auto, homeowners, and workers’ compensation insurance.


  1. Association for Safe International Travel,

  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS),

  3. “What to Do After a Car Crash,”, (September 26, 2016).

Our Safety Center pages are filled with tips related to the safety and maintenance of your home and autos. The information contained in these articles should not be construed as professional advice, and is not intended to replace official sources. Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers; therefore, NJM cannot guarantee their accuracy.