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While we hope you never get into a collision, winter’s icy roads and summertime’s busy roads can sometimes make this hard to avoid. Many new immigrants (and new drivers) are not certain what to do in case of a collision, or what their responsibilities might be. Read this guide article to find out.
What do I do after a vehicle collision?
If you are involved in a vehicle collision use the following simple steps to protect yourself, and those around you.
Step 1: STOP
It is illegal to flee the scene of a collision you are involved in. This is known as a“hit-and-run” and you may suffer demerit points or police charges for doing it. Do not leave the scene.
Step 2: CHECK FOR INJURIES
Your first priority should be keeping yourself and others safe. Turn on your hazard lights right away (the little Red Triangle) and look around.If anyone is injured, call 9-1-1. Do not try to move someone who is injured. Wait for the ambulance to arrive.
Step 3: FIND SAFETY
Do not immediately get out of your vehicle, and do not stand between the collision vehicles. There is a risk that other drivers might not see you and could be surprised, causing them to hit you or your vehicle. If your vehicle can be driven and there are no serious injuries, move your vehicle to the side of the road, away from traffic. Remember to turn on your red hazard lights.
If your vehicle cannot be driven, all passengers should get out of the vehicle and walk to a safe place if they are not injured.
Step 4: REPORT
Police MUST be informed if any of the following happens:
- vehicle involved cannot be moved (driven)
- driver does not have their driver’s license or proof of insurance
- driver appears to be intoxicated or to have been drinking alcohol
Once you have safely moved out of the way of traffic (or the police have arrived) the next step will be to exchange contact and insurance information.
Vehicle Collisions and Insurance
Many newcomers are afraid that their insurance rates could go up after an accident. Because of this, many choose not to file a claim to their insurance company and instead pay for the damage out of their own pocket. This can turn into a larger problem if the other driver disagrees with a repair quote, or fails to pay you back. To protect yourself before calling your insurance company, do not:
- Voluntarily assume liability – you might not have all of the information at the time.
- Promise to pay for the damages before a review. Vehicle damages require a proper estimate by a repair shop.
- Accept money at the scene.
- Agree to forget about the collision.
With this in mind, you will need to share the following information with the other driver:
- Your full names.
- Damages (on what parts of each vehicle).
- Take photos if you can! This will be helpful later.
- How many people were in each vehicle, and each of their names.
- The address and contact information of both drivers (phone and email).
- The car make, model, year, colour, license plate #, and Vehicle Identification Number.
With this done, you’re now ready to contact your insurance company.