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Office of Traffic Safety

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

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What to Do After a Crash

A winter car crash scene with a state patrol squad parked on the shoulder of the road

If you’ve never experienced it, count yourself lucky: The sickening thud that accompanies a car crash. The days — and sometimes weeks or months — of dealing with doctors and mechanics and insurance adjusters. The sinking feeling that if only you had left a little earlier or put your phone down or turned your headlights on, this might not have happened.

But crashes happen every day in Minnesota — the State Patrol alone has handled over 41,000 so far this year. So it’s important to know what to do immediately after one happens. This DPS Blog will tell you all the steps you should take as soon as a crash happens.

How Broken Hearts Can Save Lives

Barb Degnan speaks at a news conference where a broken heart license plate is displayed

Barb Degnan’s son Dan was killed by an impaired driver in a crash on Christmas Eve, 1992. He was just 20 years old. The selfish person who chose to get behind the wheel that night ensured that the holidays would be a time of mourning instead of joy for the Degnan family from that year on.

“Dan was the joy of my life,” said Barb in a 2014 news conference, her voice shaking with emotion. “He was killed by an impaired driver.” But Barb channeled her grief into action, helping to create the broken heart license plate. Learn more about this memorial to Dan and all victims of impaired driving in this DPS blog.

Featured Video

Video Description: Driving with a phone in your hand is now illegal in Minnesota. Lt. Gordon Shank, with the Minnesota State Patrol, shows you different ways to go hands-free.