Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of mortality and injury in the US with deaths reaching 40,000 in 2017. Road traffic is dense in the US with almost 264 million vehicles and 218 million drivers. Accidents can happen even to the most cautious people in the world, it is critical to know what to do when it hits you or your family unexpectedly. In addition, even though there are no serious injuries involved, there are things that you need to do when you are involved in a car accident to protect your loved ones and fellow motorists.
Everyone Needs Physical and Medical Support
If you are involved in a petty accident or even just a fender bender, the first thing you need to do is ensure that everyone in your vehicle is okay. Check if anyone is hurt and if someone is, call ambulance services immediately. You must also move your vehicle away from the accident site, if possible to avoid pile-ups and crashes. If this is not an option, turn on your hazard lights to alert others.
While waiting for medical help to arrive, you can move your family members to a safe area in the emergency lane of the road. Provided there are no serious injuries and it is a safe move, herd them to a secure area behind the guardrails of an emergency shoulder. Concussions and other head trauma may also occur the symptoms of which are not immediately visible. Be vigilant of concussion signs especially among young members of the family who might not be able to express what they feel. In the next few days, watch out for headaches, poor focus or lack of concentration, vomiting, irritation, sleeplessness and even seizures. Seek medical attention immediately when you see any of these signs.
Emotional and Psychological Support is Important
A vehicular accident even one that is minor and does not involve injuries or substantial damage to property is a traumatic experience for everyone including the driver and family members. It is important to get emotional and psychological support whether from professionals or family members. Discuss with your kids what they think of the accident and how they feel about it. No one should feel guilty about what happened nor lay the blame on the driver or anything. An accident is beyond anyone’s control and it is vital that family members acknowledge this. If necessary, seek professional counsel and attend sessions with the entire family.
An accident that occurs when you have passengers or family members with you is a horrific experience. Even though there might not be visible injuries and damage to the group, it is essential to be mindful of invisible symptoms such as physical (concussion) or emotional trauma.