Tips to avoid collisions and what to do when one occurs
Driving safety and laws
Most crashes in Texas result from speeding, failure to yield, driving under the influence of alcohol, following too closely, and running red lights and stop signs.
Avoid a collision
- Slow down and drive to conditions
- Drive friendly - yield to other drivers and be courteous
- Maintain a safe following distance
- Look both ways before you enter an intersection
- Signal every turn and lane change
- Stop at red lights and stop signs
- Don't drive if you've been drinking
What to do after a crash
- First, check for injuries. If people are hurt, tend to them.
- Next, move your car out of the roadway to a safer place where you can exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, vehicle identification numbers, vehicle license plate numbers, insurance information, and driver's license information.
- Finally, note the location of the crash and get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses. If the vehicles cannot be moved, protect the scene by setting up flares or raising your hood.
When to call police
Always call the police when:
- An injury or fatality is involved
- The vehicles cannot be moved
- You suspect one of the drivers is intoxicated
- One of the drivers has no insurance
- One of the drivers leaves the scene
When to move your vehicle
If you are in a collision and no one is hurt, don't wait for the police before moving your vehicle. If you can drive the vehicle, the law requires you to move it out of the flow of traffic.
If there is damage to the vehicle, stop and exchange information. If someone is hurt, render aid and notify law enforcement. If you hit an unattended vehicle, find the driver or write your name and address on a note explaining what happened. You must also include the owner's name and address if the vehicle you are driving doesn't belong to you.
Texas law requires drivers to have basic liability coverage. If you don't have auto insurance, you can be fined up to $350, or more if you've been ticketed before for no insurance. Be ready to show your insurance card if an officer asks you for it and inform your insurance company of a collision right away.