What to Do if You Get in a Minor Collision
You’re out running errands when suddenly you hear that horrible sound of metal crunching on metal. Maybe you’ve hit someone who stopped suddenly — or you’ve been hit from behind. There are so many ways to get into a minor collision.
Even if the damage to your car isn’t very bad and no one is injured, it can still be a very upsetting experience. You may start worrying about how this will impact your auto insurance rates in Ottawa.
The most important things to do after a minor collision is to make sure that everyone is safe and the proper steps are followed:
- Stop your car.
- Call the police or Ontario collision reporting centre.
- Take photos.
- If you can safely do so, move your car out of the way of traffic.
- Record the details of the accident.
- Call your auto insurance company.
Stop Your Car
It’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident. You must immediately stop your car as soon as it’s safe to do so. Turn on your hazard lights so other cars can clearly see you and realize you are not moving. Only exit your car if it’s safe to do so.
Call The Police Or An Emergency Collision Centre
Depending on the severity of the accident and the condition of the drivers, you will either need to call the police or an emergency collision centre. You must call the police under any of these circumstances:
- Anyone is injured
- Either driver is intoxicated
- The damage to either vehicle appears to exceed $2000.
If no one is injured, both drivers are sober, and the damage to either vehicle is quite low, then you do not need to call the police — you only need to call a collision centre.
If you can safely do so, exit your vehicle and take photos of the accident scene. Photos will help give a clearer picture of what happened, and where each vehicle was in relation to the other after the accident. It will also help provide a visual reference to show what, if any, damage was done to each vehicle.
Move Your Car If It’s Safe To Do So
If you can safely move your car over to the side of the road, away from traffic, then you should do so. This will help ensure that traffic can continue to move smoothly and also that emergency vehicles (if needed) can get to you more quickly.
Leave your hazard lights on and pop your hood up if you can. Both of these are visual signs to oncoming drivers to let them know your car is not moving and they should go around you.
Record The Details Of The Accident
It’s important to record the details of the accident when they are fresh. You can do this manually on a notepad, send yourself an email or even leave yourself a voicemail – whatever method works best for you. Record the following information:
- Date and time
- Weather and road conditions
- Your estimated speed at the time of the collision
- A description of the accident
It may be tempting to put this off but the sooner you can record the details after an accident, the more accurate they are likely to be.
You will also need to “exchange information” with the other driver. This includes:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Their car’s license plate, as well as its make and colour
- Their insurance company and policy number
- Any damage they’ve noted to their vehicle.
- Any passengers in the car
- Any injuries to themselves or the passengers
Call Your Car Insurance Company
Once you’ve taken care of the logistics of dealing with the car accident, it’s time to call your auto insurance company. They’ll need to know about the following details:
- Your own insurance policy
- The accident
- The other driver’s insurance policy
- Any police reports that were filed
How can Oegema Nicholson help me with my auto insurance in Ottawa?
At Oegema Nicholson, we’re here for our clients — whatever their auto insurance needs may be. After a minor collision, we can talk to you about whether your auto insurance covers:
- A rental car. If you need transportation while your car is being fixed, your insurance policy may cover these costs.
- Accident forgiveness. Even if you are found at fault for the accident, your auto insurance rates may not increase if you have accident forgiveness as part of your policy.
All auto insurance includes mandatory coverage against uninsured drivers — so don’t worry that you’ll be on the hook if the other driver doesn’t have insurance — we’ve got you covered.
It can be scary and overwhelming to be in a car accident – even if it’s only a minor collision. That’s why we’re here to answer any questions you may have about what to do if you’re in an accident. Whether you want to know how fault is determined or what repair shops are covered by your insurance policy, at Oegema Nicholson, we’re here to take care of all your auto insurance needs.
Always Be Prepared
If you live in a busy city like Ottawa, then you have to deal with the fact that minor collisions are just part of life. The good news is that the better prepared you are for them, the faster you can get back on the road again.
To learn more about auto insurance in Ottawa, call Oegema Nicholson at 613-519-2030 or contact us here.