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How to Check if a Car Has Been in an Accident

How to Check if a Car Has Been in an Accident
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Many used car buyers wonder how they can check if a car has been in an accident, have you found yourselves in such shoes? To find out if the car has been involved in an accident, you can simply use the VIN. 

Some experts believe that with the right knowledge, used car buying and selling is usually an interesting adventure.

“Today, there’s less risk in buying a car that’s been in a collision,” says Brian Moody, executive editor of Autotrader. “There are so many online tools that can help a potential buyer know the history of a car.”

These experts strongly recommend obtaining a detailed vehicle history report as it has proven to be the best document that can enable one to avert the heartbreaking consequences of buying a lemon or other undesirable traits of a used vehicle. 


The average person will likely crash his or her car 3-4 times in a lifetime, reports Forbes.

Checking for Accident History

Before taking the plunge on a used car either to buy or to sell, understanding its past is crucial. This includes investigating its accident history, which can reveal valuable insights into the vehicle’s overall condition and potential safety concerns. Accidents, even minor ones, can leave lasting impacts on a car’s structural integrity, performance, and value.

Decoding the Past: Utilizing the VIN Number

Every vehicle carries a unique identifier known as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This 17-digit code acts as a fingerprint, holding a wealth of information about the car’s life. 

If you understand how the VIN is structured, you can also decode part of this information offline, however, if you use a VIN decoder tool, like ours you can unlock details like the model year, engine specifications, and even the production plant in just a few seconds. 

However, the true power of the VIN lies in its ability to access the car’s accident history report alongside the detailed vehicle history. 

Detailed Vehicle History specializes in providing comprehensive vehicle history reports, including detailed information on past accidents and repairs. These reports, often generated by aggregating data from various sources like insurance companies, repair shops, and government agencies, paint a clearer picture of the car’s past. By utilizing this service of ours, you can gain valuable insights into:

The number and severity of past accidents: This helps assess potential damage and potential safety risks.

The type of repairs conducted: Understanding the repairs performed allows you to evaluate the quality of the work and potential lingering issues.

The overall impact on the vehicle’s value: Knowing the accident history can help you negotiate a fair price or walk away from a potentially problematic vehicle.

By taking the time to check the accident history, you empower yourself to make informed decisions, ensuring you invest in a car that meets your needs and expectations, both in terms of safety and value.

Major Causes of Accidents

The following are the major causes of accidents, understanding them can help you to prevent them from happening. 

Over speeding

Over a shocking two decades, speeding has reigned as the deadliest culprit behind car crashes, claiming nearly a third of all road fatalities, according to the NHTSA. While speeding takes the grim top spot, other dangers lurk on the road. Alcohol, drugs, and medication misuse contribute to 10% of fatal crashes, while failing to stay in the right lane and yield the right of way together account for another 14%.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving, a seemingly innocent act like talking on the phone or texting, takes a devastating toll, contributing to 8.1% of fatal crashes and claiming 8 lives every day, around 3,500 lives annually. Don’t let these everyday distractions turn your drive deadly.

Drowsy Driving

Finally, don’t underestimate the dangers of drowsy driving. The NHTSA estimates that over 100,000 crashes and 1,500 deaths each year are linked to feeling sleepy or falling asleep at the wheel. Prioritize rest and avoid driving when fatigued to keep yourself and others safe.

Take safety precautions while driving, you will not only preserve





Total car crash fatalities 

Alcohol-impaired fatalities

Speed-Related fatalities

Pedestrian and pedal cyclist Fatalities 




































Inspecting for Damage

Operating a faulty vehicle is dangerous and can lead to serious injury or fatality. Vehicles that are regularly and adequately maintained and verified to be in optimal working condition last longer. Inspection reduces the cost of repairs and replacement, maximizing your vehicle’s value and extending its life.

Another reason why physical inspection is important is that it can uncover issues that could not have been seen in a vehicle history report, it can uncover some problems on the engine, transmission issues, body repairs from an accident, or some hints about flood damage such as smelly couches. Depending on the degree of perceived damage you can decide to take care of repair yourself or forfeit the transaction. 

You can decide to get an inspection by hiring a professional, depending of your level of knowledge and technical know-how you may also carry out this inspection yourself, no matter how it is done the most important thing is getting it done as it will help you avoid post-purchase surprises.

Sample Vehicle History Report with Accident

Here is a sample vehicle history report of a vehicle involved in an accident. The analysis of the group is presented below. 

The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Sahara (VIN: 1C4BJWEG9FL564784) is a 4-door, left-hand drive vehicle with a V-6 3.6L engine and 4WD. It has a branded title, indicating past significant damage. There’s one accident record in Ulster County, NY, in 2019. The vehicle was sold at auction in Newburgh, NY, for $4,100 with “All over” damage. It has a salvage brand record, 999,999 miles on the odometer, and 4 lien or loan record

Get an Accident Check: Things to look out for While Checking

Don’t let accident reports steer you away from a used car, check the car with a mechanic, get a vehicle history report, and compare both reports. Our service is considered the best carfax alternative. It can help you discover hidden damage.

  Simply find the VIN as located on the dashboard, or corner of the dashboard, and get the vehicle’s history. Our reports are culled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  

Here are some things to look out for during a physical inspection, check if the panel was replaced, and check the paint job, fenders, and bumpers, are they cracked or patched? or straight and even? Look at the alignment of body panels, This will help you in making a good decision.

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