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What to do when accidents happen

Drivers in Connecticut should know how to prevent accidental injuries on the road, and what to do if a car accident has occurred.

Driving in Connecticut, like driving anywhere, requires great care and alertness. The dangers posed by drowsy, distracted or intoxicated drivers extend to everyone else operating vehicles. The fact is that even if a person is being as careful as can be, an accident could happen any time. That's why every driver should be aware of how they can prevent accidental injuries on the road, and what they should do in case a car crash happens.

Seat belts really do work

Most people have heard about how seat belts can save lives, yet still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that among people 13-44 years of age, more than half of car crash fatalities occurred with people being unrestrained. The difference made by seat belts is truly significant. Air bags alone do not provide the same degree of protection as they can when combined with the use of restraints. In 2014, 12,802 lives were saved as a result of people wearing seat belts. The amount of injuries and deaths from car accidents are lowered by half thanks to the use of seat belts.

In the event of a crash

If the car can't be moved, turning it off and setting up flares or warning cones is a good way to alert other drivers to avoid the area. It is always a good idea to keep an emergency kit for when things go wrong. In some cases it will be impossible to exit the vehicle. If that happens, it is important to turn on the vehicle's hazard lights and call 911 while keeping seatbelts fastened. Remaining calm will help to make rational decisions. It can be helpful to count to 10 while taking deep breaths.

Those involved should try to take pictures of the scene of the accident, including any skid marks and vehicle damage. People should always check all passengers for injuries, and move away from the vehicle if it appears that there may be a fire. Even in a minor accident, both parties should exchange insurance information. Failure to do so could result in criminal charges. Important information can also include the names of witnesses, license plate numbers of vehicles involved, and driver's license numbers, phone numbers and names of those involved in the crash.

Anyone who has been in a motor vehicle accident in Connecticut may be entitled to financial compensation to cover the costs of vehicle repairs, and in the case of injury, medical costs. An attorney in the local area who does motor vehicle cases may be able to provide helpful legal counsel in such matters.