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The five steps to take when you get rear-ended

State Trooper Bob Conrad says this time of year with weather changes and icy conditions, he sees more rear-end collisions. (CBS2/FOX28)

Iowa State Patrol Trooper Bob Conrad says this time of year, driving can be more dangerous.

"When the weather changes and we get those icy conditions, I definitely do see more of those rear end-type crashes," said Trooper Conrad.

A new study released Wednesday shows that drivers are 175 percent more aggressive during the holiday season, when it comes to braking, accelerating, and speeding.

Some people may not know the steps to take when they get in a car wreck, and if or when to get the police involved. Trooper Conrad says to follow these five steps.

1. First, make sure you're safe.

"Our biggest concern is not the bent metal," said Trooper Conrad. "It’s about safety, and that needs to be yours too."

2. Second, if you can do it safely, take a picture of the license of the car you got in an accident with.

3. Then, move out of the roadway and pull over in a safe area. Trooper Conrad says this is the biggest misconception.

"So many times we get to a crash, and the first thing I'll say is, 'Hey, let's get this vehicle out of the way, let's move your car,'" said Trooper Conrad. "They'll say, 'Well I didn't know I could move it because I was in a crash.' That is by far one of the biggest misconceptions. If people are okay, and the vehicles will move, you need to get them out of the way. That's for your safety."

4. Fourth, assess the damage. If you think there is $1500 worth of damage, or you aren't sure, contact police.

5. Last, while you're waiting for law enforcement, exchange insurance information, car information, and name and phone number. To verify the name, be sure to look at a photo ID, and if the person will let you, you may want to grab a picture of it.

"We've had people exchange names and it's not the right name, it's not the right phone number, it's not the right address when we go looking for them later," said Trooper Conrad.

Of course, you can take these steps assuming the driver you got in an accident with complies and exchanges information with you. In the case that there is a hit and run, do your best to get any details that you can, including car make and model, description of driver, and get accounts of any witnesses. If you're in question, always contact police.

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