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A Guide for Accident Preparedness in Ohio

Here's what you need to know...
  • In the state of Ohio, all drivers must be able to furnish proof of mandatory insurance at all times
  • More than 300,000 accidents have been reported by residents in nine different areas throughout Ohio
  • Be sure to have an emergency kit available to you at all times when you’re operating a motor vehicle
  • It’s crucial that anyone who has an accident to document everything to make for an easier claims process
  • The best way to protect yourself against financial loss is to carry sufficient auto insurance

Car accidents are one of the many things in life that you can’t predict. If you have a driver’s license and drive your vehicle on a regular basis, there’s always a possibility that you could crash your car, suffer an injury, and be held liable for damages and injuries sustained by others.

Since there’s never a guarantee that you’ll be able to avoid accidents throughout your career of being a driver, you must be prepared at all times.

As a licensed driver in the state of Ohio, it’s not just your responsibility to carry insurance, but it’s also your responsibility to know what to do after an accident in the state. If you’re unsure of what you must do, here’s a guide to help you.

If you’d also like to check on better auto insurance in case of an accident, enter your ZIP code above to find the best rates for you!

The Likelihood of Having An Accident

No matter how safe of a driver you are, accidents are inevitable. There will always be unsafe drivers on public roads, and these drivers will always put others at risk. Drivers average three to four accidents in their lifetime.

It’s also the prime reason why nearly 37,000 Americans die in car accidents each year and 2.35 million more are injured or disabled by the same cause.

Since car crashes cost the country as much as $230.6 billion dollars each year, it’s not surprising that most states have their own mandatory auto insurance requirements.

Without auto insurance requirements in place, there would be no guarantees that victims in car crashes would be compensated for their damages or injuries.

You’re Likely to Be Involved in An Accident


In the blink of an eye, an accident can change your entire life and everything that you’ve worked hard for.

Much like it did for multiple drivers and passengers in August of 2016 when a 10-car pileup on an Ohio turnpike left one dead and seven severely injured. You might say to yourself it’s not going to be you, but these families certainly thought that as well.

In 2015 alone, the state of Ohio recorded 302,307 total traffic accidents.

Out of all of these recorded accidents, there were 1,110 deaths.

While one of the leading causes of fatalities was impaired driving, another leading cause for accidents in all counties was the climate in Ohio. Since there are warmer summers and frequent precipitation, the road conditions in all seasons can be dangerous in all regions.

Either way, at some point, you’re likely to be involved in an accident.

How to Prepare for An Accident in Ohio

The likelihood that you’ll have an accident driving down Interest 70 or Interstate 74 is high.

Since there’s a significant probability if you drive on an interstate in Ohio, you will have an accident, and you must be prepared. You don’t think about preparedness until you or someone close to you has experienced loss.

Here’s how to effectively stay prepared:

— Keep Your Phone Charged and Ready


It’s hard to image what life would be like without a smartphone. While some complain that technology is taking over people’s lives, others would debate that advances in technology connect the world and makes things easier.

When it comes to car accidents, it’s always helpful to have access to a phone.

If you want to stay prepared, you should always keep your phone charged and handy. Not only do you need to use your phone to contact authorities and emergency personnel, but you can also use it to plug in information and take pictures that can later be used to support your version of the events that took place.

— Always Keep Pertinent Information In Your Glove Compartment

Whenever you’re pulled over by police, you have to show the police your license, registration, and proof of auto insurance. The same goes for when you’re in an accident.

Be sure that you keep your auto insurance ID cards and your registration in your glove compartment so you can easily exchange information. It’s also crucial to avoid added citations.

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— Have an Emergency Kit

You never know what the conditions will be like when you have an auto accident. It’s always best to be over-prepared instead of under-prepared.

You can either buy an emergency kit and store it in your trunk or make one on your own. Here’s a list of the items that you’ll need for all types of emergencies, including auto accidents:

  • High-powered flashlight
  • Bottled water
  • Flares
  • Emergency cones
  • Jumper cables
  • Work gloves
  • Blanket
  • Rain poncho
  • Escape tools (seatbelt cutter and glass smasher)

— Be Ready to Document Everything

Documenting everything that you can remember from start to finish is crucial when you’re filing a claim.

It’s your insurance company’s job to investigate losses and then determine who is at fault. Only after a claim has been investigated can the carrier decide who will pay for damages and injuries.

If you have detailed information, you’ll give your claims adjuster more power to support your account over any of the other drivers’ stories. When your adjuster has evidence, they have more power while settling the loss.

Here are some tips on what you can do to keep the most detailed record of the loss:

  • Take pictures of the scene and the vehicles
  • Take as many notes as you can and draw a diagram of the scene and road signs
  • Talk to witnesses and get contact information
  • Talk to the police and file a report
  • Check to see if everyone involved is safe

— Carry the Proper Car Insurance

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Ohio has mandatory insurance laws. Since the state operates under a fault-based system, all drivers with cars registered in the state must have both bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage.

The minimum car insurance requirements are as follows:

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person (including passengers, drivers, and pedestrians)
  • $50,000 for the injury or death caused by a single car accident
  • $25,000 for any property damage to property owned by others arising out of a single accident

While only liability insurance is required, it’s always best to consider optional types of coverage for added protection. The state of Ohio has a serious uninsured motorist problem.

Since 13.5 percent of all drivers are not insured, it’s in your interest to protect yourself against them by carrying uninsured motorist protection.

With uninsured motorist protection, you’ll get help paying for medical treatment and more.

Not only is uninsured motorist coverage recommended, but you should also consider carrying other optional forms of coverage that pays for your damages. Other types of coverage that will pay your expenses include:

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Rental Car
  • Medical Payments
  • Towing
  • Labor

Tips on What to Do At the Scene

What you do at the scene of the accident is critical. It could be the difference between being liable for the loss and not being classified as negligent.

Here are steps that you need to take to ensure the best outcome:

  • Never admit fault
  • Check out the damage to all property
  • Document the damage
  • Never leave the scene of an accident, or it could turn into a hit and run
  • Call the police if anyone is injured or damage exceeds $500
  • Call your insurance carrier to file a claim and give a statement
  • Only speak to the other carrier when you’re with your adjuster or lawyer

Getting Into An Accident Without Insurance

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If you’re involved in an accident and you don’t have coverage, you’ll have to face severe penalties. Not only could you be taken to court for the damages, but you’re also going to have to face other criminal penalties which may include:

  • Suspension of license plates for up to one year
  • Suspension of license for up to one year
  • Reinstatement fee of $100
  • Security suspension for two years after an uninsured accident

You don’t want to deal with legal hassles just for disobeying the law. The best thing that you can do is buy sufficient coverage and maintain it.

Prepare for the inevitable and always shop around to compare at least three or four quotes for coverage each term.

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