If You Are Involved In A Crash

  • Stop immediately in a safe place.
  • Notify the nearest law enforcement agency immediately if anyone is injured or killed, or if property damage exceeds $500.00;
  • Provide reasonable assistance to any person injured;
  • Warn approaching motorists if you can do so without jeopardizing your own safety or that of others. Activate your hazard lights, if possible, and use reflective triangles, when available;
  • Give your name, address, license plate number, and driver’s license number to any­one else who was involved in the crash. Get the same information from the other driver;
  • If you damage an unattended vehicle, you must either locate the owner or leave your name, address, and the name of the owner of the vehicle you were driving, in a con­spicuous place where the owner will find it.

Aiding the Injured

Do not assume that a person is not injured simply because that person says he/she is not. Send for professional help as soon as possible. Unskilled handling can cause further and more severe injuries. Do not move or lift the victim unless it is absolutely necessary. If the victim is moved, get help and try to maintain the victim in the position in which they were found. Stop serious bleeding with thick cloth pads, as clean as possible, applied with pressure by hand. Keep the victim warm. Cover the victim with blankets or coats, if necessary.

Georgia has a Good Samaritan Law. This law holds any person harmless for civil damages arising as a result of any act or omission in rendering emergency care.

Moving Vehicles Following a Crash

When a traffic crash occurs on a multilane highway or expressway, and if there is no apparent serious injury or death, it is the duty of the drivers of the vehicles involved to move their vehicles from the roadway to a safe location along the shoulder, emergency lane, median, or any other safe refuge. Drivers should only do this if the vehicles are ca­pable of being driven normally and successfully, and driving the vehicles will not present any further hazard or harm to the vehicles themselves, to the driver, to persons nearby, or to the roadway.

If the persons involved in the crash are incapable of moving the vehicles, they are authorized to request any other driver in the vicinity who has a valid license of the appro­priate class to move their vehicles, and the other driver is authorized to comply.

Drivers who take these important steps will not be considered at fault simply because they moved the vehicles, nor does moving the vehicles affect their ability to file a written report with a local police agency. Moving a vehicle in this situation does not allow for the driver to be accused of failing to stop and provide information.

Deer–Automobile Crashes

Each year, deer cause thousands of crashes in Georgia. Understanding common habits of deer and knowing what to do when a deer runs out in front of the car can help to avoid serious crashes. Automobile crash data from the Georgia Department of Transportation indicate that though deer-automobile crashes are on the rise, they still account for less than six percent of automobile crashes reported each year.

It is important to remember that deer are wild animals and their actions are unpredictable. The deer you see calmly standing on the side of the road may bolt toward the road rather than away from it if startled by a car.

Follow these guidelines to minimize the chances of a crash with a deer:

  • In areas with known deer populations, drivers should constantly scan the road and road shoulders for deer movements and sightings;
  • Always slow down when a deer crosses the road in front of you or another car. Deer usually travel in groups and it is likely that there is another one following closely behind;
  • If a deer is spotted on the road or roadside at night, the driver should slow down immedi­ately, blink his/her headlights and switch to low beam so as not to blind the deer;
  • Also, short horn blasts may help scare the deer from the road.

Should the deer or other animal run out in front of your car, slow down as much as pos­sible to minimize the damage of a crash. Never swerve to avoid a deer. This action may cause you to strike another vehicle or leave the roadway, causing more damage or serious injuries. If you do have a crash, police should be alerted as soon as possible. Most insurance companies will require an accident report from the police before paying claims for this type of crash.

Deer are usually seen along the roadside during the early morning hours and late eve­ning. Drivers should be alert for deer during these peak hours. Deer are most active in the fall months of October, November and December during the peak breeding season. Late February and early March are also critical months for deer-car crashes. During this period they concentrate along road shoulders to feed on new green food available following winter. However, deer are often spotted at midday during summer months. Therefore, it is important for drivers to remain cautious when traveling on rural roads or areas known to have a high deer population.