Driver’s education classes teach us to remain calm after an accident, but how does the situation change if it’s an accident on an interstate rather than a city street?

With highway speed limits varying from 55 to 85 mph, depending on the state, the speeds of other vehicles could make exiting your car and walking on the highway shoulder dangerous. High speeds also make it much more difficult for passersby to offer assistance than on a local road, as there are often fewer safe places for them to pull over. Depending on the location, it can take emergency services longer to reach the scene of an accident due to distance or traffic.

Therefore, after an accident, it’s important to know what to do to help keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe. The following tips can help you prepare and know what to do if you’re in a highway accident.

Look Before Exiting Your Vehicle

If you get into an accident on the highway, it’s common to feel fear, shock or panic, but try to remain calm. If you can pull over to the shoulder or breakdown lane safely, do so. Be sure to look around carefully if you exit your vehicle.

Maximize Your Visibility

After a highway accident, safety is of the utmost importance and being visible to other drivers can save lives. Put on your hazard lights immediately. Put on any colored clothing you have with you. If you have an emergency road kit with flares or reflective triangles, set them out as soon as possible to warn other drivers.

Follow Post-Accident Procedures

In addition to taking steps to stay safe after an accident on the highway, you should follow the same steps after an interstate accident as you would on any other road. Here’s a breakdown:


This guest post comes from the editors of The Allstate Blog, which helps people prepare for the unpredictability of life.