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What to Do If You’re in a Car Accident During the Coronavirus Pandemic


It’s less likely that you’ll get into a car accident right now, but there are some extra precautions to take as a result of the coronavirus if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

First, remain calm, just as you should in any car crash situation. Take in your surroundings, and look around carefully to ensure that you are in a safe place to exit your vehicle. If you’re on a busy road or at a dangerous intersection, move either yourself or your vehicle to safety, and signal for any other drivers to do the same.

When you exit your car, make sure that everyone else is OK. You can do this while observing social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control so there is no need to approach other vehicle occupants. Unless you are trained in emergency response, you should not attempt more than basic emergency aid, anyway. If emergency responders have been called, you should trust that they have taken the necessary steps to ensure their own safety.

If everyone involved in the wreck is able to congregate to trade information with each other or with a police officer, again make sure to stay at least 6 feet away from others. If you have to fill out paperwork, use your own pen. It’s safe practice to always carry a pen with you anyway in order to reduce the risk of germ transmission.

If your car is so damaged that it needs to be towed, don’t worry! Be sure to remove any important personal items such as phones, bags, garage door openers and child seats, and then plan to sanitize the car thoroughly whenever it is repaired.

Insurance may provide you with a rental car, and again, you should plan to vigorously sanitize any touchpoints in the vehicle before driving off.

Most states and municipalities have strongly encouraged drivers from staying home except for essential trips such as commuting or traveling to a grocery store. That means that most routine driving is on hold for now, which obviously reduces the risk of being in a car accident. Still, if one occurs, make sure to follow these basic, simple guidelines while remaining calm.

Looking for more info relating to you, your vehicle and the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out more of Autotrader’s coronavirus content.

Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz is an author specializing in helping in-market consumers get the most bang for their buck -- and the best car, while they're at it. When not virtually shopping for new and used cars, Andrew can probably be found under the hood of a vintage classic that's rapidly losing fluids.

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