Traffic Accident Tips

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Car Accident Checklist – Be Prepared!
Nothing like a fender bender- or something worse – to ruin your day! If you know what information to gather after an accident, things can go more smoothly with the police

What information to gather?

and with your insurance company.

Colorado law requires that all accidents be reported immediately. Reporting can be done online (Colorado Online Accident Report), but only if:
  • There were no fatalities or injuries involved.
  • The accident was not a hit and run (you can provide information from the other party involved).
  • No public property was involved (road sign, utility pole, etc).
  • There was no suspicion of any party driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (information from CO DMV website)
If the police come to the scene, they will fulfill the reporting requirements. You may want to contact the officer in the future, so be sure and write down the officer’s name,

Stay cool and do not admit fault.

badge number, phone number, and report number. However, we know that there are times in Colorado (for example, during Cold Weather Reporting) when the police are unable to get to the site of the accident. Good documentation of the accident will then be critical for accurate reporting.

Although we hope you don’t have an accident, but if you do, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Be sure you have current vehicle registration, insurance information, and ID available in your car at all times. These will be necessary in the event of an accident.
  • If possible, pull your car to the side of the road and out of traffic, turn off the engine and set your emergency brake. Turn on your HAZARD lights.
  • Be sure it is safe to exit your car before opening the door.
  • Check with all other passengers, in your car and in any other involved vehicles, and call 911 if there is any chance of injuries. Even minor injuries should be documented and treated as necessary.
  • Call the police. You may dial 911 even if there are not severe injuries. You may need them to help direct traffic or to deal with an irate driver. A police report can also be very helpful documentation with your insurance company.

Gather information from the
other driver and any other eye witnesses (name and contact information). Be courteous and polite as you get the following information. Do not admit fault for the accident.
Write down:
  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • State and License number of involved vehicles
  • Insurance company
  • Policy number.
Be sure and take photos where ever possible to document location of accident and damage to vehicles.
Here is a link for proper forms to complete in Colorado for online reporting:
CO Traffic Accident Report. Print these forms and instructions now – then keep a copy in your glove box so you will have them should the need arise.
During the winter, it is especially important to drive defensively and leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you. You may not be able to stop as quickly due to slippery road conditions. Drive safely and stay tuned next week for more Defensive Driving Techniques!

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