Maintenance Monday: Assessing Accident Damage

Metromile recently posted tips on how to be prepared for an accident, and I wanted to elaborate a bit more on what you should do at the scene. Being involved in an accident can be frustrating, intimidating and downright scary, so you might be tempted to get away as soon as possible. Before you leave, however, there are a few important things you must do to ensure you don’t make the situation even worse.


First and foremost, if you are ever in an accident, make sure your surroundings are safe before you exit your vehicle. Don’t assume that other drivers are aware of the situation; they might be oblivious to the situation and frustrated with the extra traffic you may have created. Before you exit your car, you should:

  • Turn off the vehicle
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • Make sure that you or your passengers are capable of exiting the vehicle
  • Grab your cell phone
  • Look around for any hazards

Once you decide it’s safe to exit the vehicle, pay close attention to your surroundings. Try to get out of traffic and over to the side of the road. Once you are out of harm’s way, give yourself and your passengers a quick assessment. Are you or any of your passengers injured? If so, call emergency services right away, and then call the police to file an accident report.

You also need to assess the damage. Before you attempt to drive away, there are a few things you should check for:

  • Fluids will typically leak from the front of the vehicle, and if you see signs of this, it is not safe to start your car.
  • If you smell gasoline or see smoke, the vehicle is not safe to drive or even be around.
  • You should also check for broken glass, flat tires, a deployed airbag or any part of your vehicle protruding outwards. If you notice any of these things, call a tow truck.

If everything looks normal and you decide it is safe to drive, be cautious and pay attention the way the vehicle is performing. It does not take a huge impact to cause damage to the mechanical parts of the vehicle, so make sure the brakes feel normal and that it doesn’t feel hard to steer. If you notice any of these things, or your car starts to smoke or smell funny, then these are indicators that something was damaged and should be inspected by a mechanic before you drive it any further.

These are just a few simple things that can make an intimidating situation a little safer for you and your passengers. If you are a Metromile customer and are in an accident, you can always file a claim online or reach our claims team at 1.888.595.5485
. We’ll do everything we can to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.