Most of us have been involved in a fender bender or two. But we often make mistakes after the accident that make matters worse.

Involved in a traffic accident? Avoid these common mistakes

Most of us have been involved in a fender-bender or two. It’s a stressful event – you’re standing beside a busy road, your nerves are shot, you’re dealing with a stranger who may be angry (whether it’s their fault or not).

But a new survey by Esurance (owned by the insurance giant Allstate) shows most of us do things that only make matters worse. 

Esurance says the average driver will be in three or four accidents in a lifetime. It’s common for drivers to spend more than $1,000 out of pocket and more than 20 hours handling post-accident issues. 

“What’s more, we’re making it harder on ourselves than it needs to be and missing vital steps that could make the whole process a lot less painful,” the company said in announcing its findings. 

Esurance conducted an online survey of 1,147 U.S. vehicle owners who had been in an accident. Among the post-accident missteps they reported: 

*Failing to file a police report (58 percent of respondents). 

*Not documenting the damage (56 percent). 

*Forgetting to exchange contact information (38 percent). 

*Saying you’re fine before seeing a doctor (29 percent). 

*Not calling an insurance company (22 percent). 

*Saying “sorry,” which may suggest fault (21 percent). 

You can read more about these and other problems and see the survey results here.

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