What to do After an Accident
March 9, 2018
Even though we are approaching Spring, B.C. is still experiencing winter weather conditions in many parts of the province. Inclement weather increases the number of car accidents, and while no one wants to get into an accident, it’s a situation that does occur and it’s good to know what you should do if it happens to you.
The first step to remember is to always call 911 if someone is hurt or if you believe another driver might be guilty of a Criminal Code offence like Drunk Driving or if there has been significant property damage. Having a police report will also helpful for any follow up for insurance claims.
Next it is important to make sure that you, your passengers and your vehicle are safe. Move off the road and away from traffic if you are able and then it’s a good idea to put up some kind of warning sign to other drivers like cones, triangles or at a minimum, your four-way flashers. This alerts other drivers to what has happened and it’s also important to remember that you are responsible for protecting your car from further loss or damage after the initial accident.
If other parties were involved in the accident, get their information, but avoid discussing with them who is at fault for the crash. You will need:
• driver’s name, licence number, province/state and contact info
• licence plate and year, make and model of vehicle
• insurance details if the vehicle isn’t from B.C.
Remember to see if there were any witnesses and record their names and contact information as well.
While your memory is still fresh, write down what happened to cause the accident. Make a rough sketch of the position of the car(s), take note of the date and time and describe the road conditions or any other related factors that contributed to the crash. You might also want to take some pictures with your smartphone.
Contact your insurance company when an incident does occur, inform them about the accident as soon as possible and be honest and up-front with them about what actually happened. If you think you should see a doctor, it doesn’t hurt to check in to make sure you haven’t sustained any injuries.
You should always carry proof of insurance with you, either in your glove box or wallet, as well as copies of your insurance policy and your agent’s contact information. You may also want to consider picking up small triangles or cones that you can place out in case of an accident as well as a copy of ICBC’s Crash Scene Details Card available at www.icbc.com/claims/Documents/claims-card.pdf
Being in a car accident is never pleasant, but by being prepared you can take some of the stress out of the situation.
For more information about how to stay safe on the road, join us at the 2018 Vancouver International Auto Show.
The 98th Vancouver International Auto Show returns to the Convention Centre West from March 28 to April 1, 2018. For more information on the Show and to purchase tickets, please visit www.VancouverInternationalAutoShow.com.
Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected].
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