Content provided by AAA’s Preferred Insurance Provider: MAPFRE Insurance

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. You’ve pulled up to a traffic light or stop sign, skidded on a piece of black ice and slid into another vehicle. Or maybe you don’t see another car coming as you backed out of a parking spot at the mall. That sound of two cars colliding is the last thing you want to hear.

Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a serious crash, accidents happen. In fact, 6 million car accidents happen each year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Although you may be shaken due to an accident, it’s important to know what to do at the scene in order to make your claims process with your insurance company go smoothly.


  • Check to see if anyone is hurt. If so, get them medical assistance immediately
  • If you are on a highway or in the middle of the street, pull off the road if possible so that you are not in the way of traffic. Also, make sure your hazard lights are on!
  • Call the police, even if it’s a minor accident, so that you have a report of the incident
  • Provide your license, registration and insurance information with the other driver (do not share social security number or the coverage limits on your insurance policy)
  • Obtain as much information from the other party as possible, here’s what you’ll need from the other driver to file your claim.
    1. Their full name, address and contact information
    2. Their driver’s license number
    3. The license plate number of the vehicle involved
    4. Car insurance information of any other motorists involved
  • Document the scene as much as possible with photos, video or sketches so you can provide them to your insurance company
  • If your car is not drivable and you need a tow, make sure you verify the credentials of the tow truck driver before the car is taken to a collision repair center
  • Call your insurance provider to report the accident and begin your claims process.


  • Panic – it’s important to try and stay as calm as possible
  • Assume it’s nothing and just drive off. Sometimes the damage can be hidden
  • Admit fault. Let the police and insurance company investigate the fault of the accident
  • Wait to file a claim. As soon as you can, contact your insurance provider to inform them of the accident. Delaying the process doesn’t help anyone.

AAA is here to help!

Make sure you have the proper coverage before you hit the road by contacting your local AAA Insurance Agent today.