Getting into a car accident might be your worst nightmare; it is for many people for a good reason. Accidents are never planned and leave us feeling shaken. We often wish we had been in a different place to avoid the accident. 

But we spend most of our time discussing what to do right after the crash. And while collecting contact and insurance information from other drivers and witnesses matters, so does what happens next. 

After the police have left the scene and everyone parts way, you need a way to get home, which raises an important question. Is it safe to drive your car after you’ve been in an accident?

The answer?

It depends. There are times when it’s perfectly fine to drive your car post-accident, but there are times when driving your car could be dangerous for you and others on the road. Of course, as a responsible driver, you want to be able to drive your vehicle safely without risking danger to yourself or others on the road. 

So, how do you know when it’s ok vs. when it isn’t? That’s what we’re discussing in today’s blog. Keep reading to learn when you shouldn’t drive your car after getting in a car accident.

Is Anyone Injured?

If the accident was bad enough to injure someone, it’s not a good idea to drive your vehicle. Even if your car appears to be okay, there could be hidden damage that doesn’t show until later. Keeping your car off the road is your best bet until an auto body shop examines it. 

Are Your Lights Working?

While your lights might seem minor, they’re critical. You should not drive your vehicle if your headlights, high beams, tail lights, brake lights, or turn signals aren’t working. 

Even if your commute is short or you only drive during the daytime, you still need working lights. Driving without working lights is illegal, so you risk a ticket if you move anyway. 

Are Your Mirrors Missing or Broken?

It’s legally required to have two working mirrors on your car. Without those mirrors, you have an exponentially higher risk of getting in another accident. Your side mirrors are most important, but your rearview mirror matters, too. Don’t drive your car if you’re missing any of those three mirrors. 

Are There Leaking Fluids?

Any type of leaking fluid is a bad sign. If your coolant leaks, your car could overheat, irreparably damaging it. If your oil is leaking, you could destroy your engine. If gas is leaking, your vehicle could go up in flames. If your brake oil is leaking, you might not be able to properly brake, which could cause another accident. 

As you can see, any type of leaking fluid could wreak havoc on your vehicle. Is your commute only five minutes? That’s still long enough for significant damage to you and your vehicle. Trust us; it’s not worth it! 

Are Your Wheels Bent or Broken?

At first glance, it’s easy to see if your wheels or axles are bent or broken. They won’t look how they should, even if you’re inexperienced with cars. 

However, keep in mind that your wheels and axles might look fine at first glance but could still be damaged. Sometimes, when you move your car, the damage shows itself. Stop driving if you feel like your vehicle is pulling or if something just feels off. 

Bent or broken wheels are dangerous, making it important not to drive your vehicle, not even to the repair shop. Have your car towed to the repair shop to prevent further damage and keep everyone safe. 

Is Your Hood Latching?

Your hood has a latch that keeps it secure while you’re driving. Without that latch, nothing is keeping your hood down. It could fly up at any time, completely blocking your view, which is likely to cause another accident. 

Make-do solutions aren’t good enough in this scenario. Even duct-taping your hood down isn’t foolproof. If your hood isn’t latching, have it towed to the repair shop. 

Is There Broken Glass?

In and of itself, broken glass doesn’t mean your car isn’t safe to drive unless there’s broken glass all over your vehicle. Then it isn’t even safe to sit in your car, much less drive it. A busted windshield could mean your vehicle is not safe to drive. 

Keep in mind that this is different from a cracked windshield. Cracked windshields are usually only broken in one or two places. A busted windshield means it’s shattered, most likely obstructing your vision. 

Can You Steer?

It’s not uncommon for your car’s steering ability to be compromised after an accident. Accidents can wreak havoc on your car’s alignment, which will cause steering issues. Difficulty steering could cause you to veer into another lane. Test your car before you take it out on the road to ensure you can properly steer.

Flickinger, Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help.

Were you recently in a car accident? We understand how traumatic and unsettling an accident can be. We hope your car is safe to drive, but if it isn’t, we hope it gets repaired quickly. 

On the other hand, you’re likely dealing with insurance claims and other legalities, like who was at fault and whether you’re entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. That’s where we come in.

Flickinger, Sutterfield & Boulton is here to help you get the money you deserve. We have 150 years of combined experience, giving us the expertise to get you everything you deserve. We’ll fight for you every step of the way. We offer free case evaluations, where we’ll discuss your car accident and determine how we can best help you. 

We have Orem, Provo, South Jordan, and West Jordan offices. You can call us at 801.921.8360 or contact us via the form on our website. Let Flickinger, Sutterfield & Boulton represent you today!