Fender benders are one of the most common types of minor accidents in North Carolina. No matter how great a driver someone is, there is no accounting for the driver behind them who may follow too closely and fail to stop. Unfortunately, even the best drivers may not know what to do when they become involved in a fender bender.

According to NBC San Diego, the first step is to remain calm and ensure all the passengers in the vehicle are okay. After ensuring no one is badly hurt, move the car out of traffic. Drivers should then document the accident scene, including close-ups of any damage to theirs and the other person’s vehicle. Getting a photo of the driver’s license plate is also a good idea. If the driver is not cooperative or becomes hostile, call the police. Note that police officers do not determine fault; insurance companies do.

Business Insider reminds drivers that they are legally obligated to call the police if the accident led to damage totaling more than $500. The same obligation applies if the accident caused damage of a fire hydrant, mailbox, pole, private property or public property. This may happen when one vehicle jolts the other forward.

It is also important to verify any contact information provided. Unfortunately, some shady individuals may provide fake information if they are at fault or have lapsed on their car insurance. Drivers can do this by calling each other on the number provided as a test.

Because some fender benders may be more serious than others and can occur in the most opportune conditions, professionals also recommend preparedness. Drivers should always have a copy of their insurance information, a first aid kit, blanket, water and a seatbelt cutter or window breaker in the car.

Some drivers may also go a step further by having dash cams installed. While dash cams may not record incidents occurring behind them, it may at least show that the driver was obeying the rules of the road and not driving recklessly when the accident occurred. If the driver applied sudden brakes, the dash cam may also show why.

This article provides information on fender bender accidents. It should not be misconstrued as or used in place of legal and insurance advice.