Accidents happen so it’s a good idea to know a head of time what you are required to do if you are involved in a crash in California.
Do you know what to do in a California car accident?
First and foremost you must stop. And if anyone is hurt you are required to get help. In addition you must give your name, address, and vehicle registration number to others involved in the accident.
California has close to 250,000 vehicle crashes every year and most common cause is careless driving, which means the driver was not driving taking into account curves, width of road, traffic, corners, the grade of the road (steepness), and other conditions that effect driving.
Don’t Leave the Scene
If you leave the scene of an accident that involves injuries without providing your information your license may be revoked.
Report the Traffic Accident
Any car accident that involves injuries or property damage over $500 must be reported. In these situations you should call the local police department, sheriff, or the California Highway Patrol. If an officer investigates the accident they will file a report.
Don’t Block Traffic
If traffic is being blocked by your car you must move it. If you can’t move it yourself, you are required to get help or call a tow truck. Your car should never block traffic in any situation.
Ticket and Traffic Court
Many accidents are caused by a driver that broke traffic laws. If that is the case then an investigating officer will file charges against the offending driver. If you are charged in a traffic accident you will have the opportunity to explain what happened in court. Then the traffic court will decide what the penalty is. In many cases you will be required to complete a Traffic Collision Avoidance Course (TCAC).
Traffic Collision Avoidance Course
A TCAC course is a California traffic school course designed to remind drivers of safe driving techniques. It can be completed online, in a classroom, or with a video. When you complete your TCAC course you will receive a certificate from the course provider that you must deliver to the court.
The California Drivers Association offers a TCAC traffic course online and on video. If you would prefer to attend a classroom then look in your local yellow pages under driving instruction.
Auto Accidents with an Unattended Vehicle
If you hit a car, truck or other vehicle that is parked with no one it you must inform the owner. Leave a note with your name, address, and license plate and report the accident to local police, sheriff, or Florida highway patrol.