Important Phone Numbers
Collision and Safety
What To Do After A Collision (Source: TXDOT,Edmunds)
- Check for injuries. If people are hurt, tend to them. Call the police if there are any injuries.
- If you are in a collision and no one is hurt, don’t wait for the police before moving your vehicle. If you can drive the vehicle, the law requires you to move it out of the flow of traffic.
- Once you’ve moved your vehicle to a safer place then exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, vehicle identification numbers, vehicle license plate numbers, insurance information and driver license information with the other driver or drivers. If the other driver does not have insurance is intoxicated or flees the scene then call the police.
- Take photos of the scene. You want to collect images that help investigators piece together the truth about the accident.
- If witnesses are present get their names and phone numbers. They may be able to assist you if there is a dispute over the claim.
- Contact your insurance company and let them know what has happened. Let the insurance company know where you wish to have the work done i.e. Helfman Collision Center.
- If a wrecker is not on the scene then you may need to contact one. A list of wrecker companies and their phone numbers are available on this page.Be sure to request a receipt for their services.
- Contact Helfman Collision Center or simply direct the wrecker driver(if used) where you wish to have your car taken to.
- Note: If a law enforcement officer is not investigating the crash you must file a crash report within 10 days if there are any injuries, you suspect property damage exceeds $1,000 or you suspect the other driver to be intoxicated, unlicensed, has no insurance or attempts to flee the scene.
Roadside Safety Tools (Source:Edmunds)
Drivers should carry a cell phone, as well as pen and paper for taking notes, a disposable camera to take photos of the vehicles at the scene, and a card with information about medical allergies or conditions that may require special attention if there are serious injuries. Also, keep a list of contact numbers for law enforcement agencies handy. Drivers can keep this free fill-in-the-blanks accident information form in their glove compartment. The DocuDent™ Auto Accident Kit ($19.95), supported by AAA and insurance companies, offers a comprehensive kit that includes a flashlight, reusable camera and accident documentation instructions. A set of cones, warning triangles or emergency flares should be kept in the trunk.
Insurance Coverage (Source: TXDOT,Edmunds)
Texas law requires drivers to have basic liability coverage. If you don’t have auto insurance, you can be fined up to $350 (or more if you’ve been ticketed before for no insurance). Be ready to show your insurance card if an officer asks you for it, and inform your insurance company of a collision right away.
The whole insurance process will be easier following your accident if you know the details of your coverage. For example, don’t wait until after an accident to find out that your policy doesn’t automatically cover costs for towing or a replacement rental car. Generally, for only a dollar or two extra each month, you can add coverage for rental car reimbursement, which provides a rental car for little or no money while your car is in the repair shop or if it is stolen. Check your policy for specifics.
Driving Safely(Contributing Source: TXDOT)
- Drive to Conditions. This means adjusting the operation of your vehicle to account for rain, snow, ice, construction, etc.
- Pass carefully when allowed.
- Move over or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles, police or TxDot vehicles at work.
- Stop completely at red lights and stop signs.
- Do not use cell phones when driving.
- Do not tailgate large trucks. Their bumpers do not line up with most vehicles bumpers causing the crash force to be distributed to other areas of the vehicle. Stay out of their blind spots and “no-zone” areas as well.
- Look twice for motorcycles and give them a full lane when passing.
- Be aware of pedestrians and do not stop on a marked crosswalk.
- Stop for school buses when signaling a stop.
- Fasten Seat Belts.
- Make sure children are properly restrained with safety seats, boosters or standard vehicle seating which is appropriate to their age and size.
Texting While Driving (Source: TxDot)
Distracted driving, which includes distraction, driver inattention or cell‐phone use, is becoming increasingly common and dangerous, causing traffic crashes and fatalities. In 2012, there were 90,378 traffic crashes in Texas that involved distracted driving. These crashes resulted in 18,468 serious injuries and 453 deaths. In fact, nearly one in four crashes in Texas involves driver distraction.
Many insurance companies now offer phone applications which can aid drivers in submitting claims as well as providing a record of coverage. Many drivers find these applications helpful. Check with your insurance provider for availability.