Expat Checklist: What to Do When You’re Involved in a Car Accident

What to do after a car accident

As an expat new to the US, it is important to know the correct protocol if you happen to be involved in a car accident.

Whether you are the driver or passenger in an accident or only a witness, car accidents require a calm and collected response. International AutoSource wants to make sure you are fully prepared to manage either situation.

Getting into a car accident can be very unsettling but keeping a clear head can make a huge positive difference in the outcome.

US Emergency Number 911


The national US EMERGENCY number in the US is 911.

Witnessing an Accident

Before calling emergency services, move your car and person to a safe location away from traffic and determine if anyone is injured.

When you call the operator will ask specific questions such as the location of the accident, the phone number you are calling from, and other important details.

We have put together the following checklist with all the steps you should take if you are in a car accident.

Car Accident Checklist

Involved in a Car Accident

Witnessing a Car Accident

If you witness a car accident and want to help, the first thing you should do is ensure your own safety.

Pull over your vehicle to the side of the road and stay at least 100 feet away from the scene of the accident so that you are not around broken glass or leaked fuel.

Emergency Services

What Should you do Next?

Call 911 right away, and don’t assume that someone else has already called. The authorities need to be notified even if the accident is not severe.

Make sure it’s safe before approaching the crash to check on the victims. Try to see the state of their injuries, ask if they are ok, or offer help.

Unless there is a risk of the vehicle catching on fire, do not under any circumstances move an injured person because it could accidentally make their injuries worse.

If possible, it’s important for the driver to put their car in park and turn off the ignition.

Reporting an accident to the police

The best thing to do next is stay on the scene and report what you have witnessed to the police once they arrive. Give the police your contact information because you may be asked to be a witness by medical authorities or insurance claim agents.

We hope you never are in any kind of car accident, even a minor fender bender. However, if you are, please try to do everything you can to stay calm and immediately call 911. We hope you stay safe this summer and happy driving!

About International AutoSource

For over 25 years, International AutoSource has helped over 50,000 international and domestic assignees get a vehicle for their move to the United States.  

IAS offers flexible vehicle solutions to finance, lease or rent a vehicle in the US without a local credit history. Shop top-selling makes and models from Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Jeep, Lincoln, Nissan, Ram, Toyota, and many more. 

Our factory-backed financing programs cater specifically to foreign executives, healthcare workers, business professionals, students, teachers, and the diplomatic community. 


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