According to the ICBC, there are roughly 50,000 traffic collisions in the province of BC each year. For drivers, this means there is about a 1 in 44 chance of being involved in a collision. While those odds are far from a sure thing, they’re still good enough to encourage all drivers to be familiar with what to do in the event of a collision. By taking the proper steps after a collision of any type, drivers can ensure they and their passengers remain safe at all times, and the situation unfolds as smoothly as possible when it comes to dealing with police, fellow drivers and your insurer. To make sure you’re prepared in the instance of a collision, keep the following tips in mind when you get behind the wheel.
In the event of a collision, no matter how insignificant it may seem, the first thing you should do is make sure yourself and anyone in your vehicle haven’t suffered any serious injuries. In some cases, the shock of a sudden collision may cause people to downplay the seriousness of their injury. Even if an injury seems insignificant, you should pay a visit to the hospital or dial 911 if you are in doubt. When you’ve made sure everything is under control, you can move your vehicle to an area where it is safe to get out. If the car has suffered extensive damage (major structural damage, leaking fluids, broken glass, etc), simply exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so and wait for emergency crews to arrive.
Information Exchange and Collection
One other vital action you must take at the scene of an accident is an exchange of information with the other driver involved in the collision. You may also want to get the information of any witnesses to the accident. In both cases, this means obtaining information such as the name and phone number of the person involved. You should also make note of the license plate number, the make and model of the car(s) involved in the collision, and the insurance details of the other driver. Once you’ve done this, it is also a good idea to take photos of the damage to your car and to make note of the accident conditions. Things like weather, speed limit, road conditions and more are all relevant when it comes to filing your claim with ICBC.
In some cases, police will be involved with the aftermath of the collision. No matter who was at fault, it is important to remember the police are there to hear everyone’s side of the story in order to make an accurate report. Be sure to remain calm and cooperative when speaking with an officer, and be as detailed as possible with your description of the events as you experienced them. If you are at all injured and unable to speak to the police right away, be sure to contact them as soon as possible at a later date.
Filing Your Claim
Once the previous tasks have been handled after your collision, it is important to file your claim with ICBC as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to rush home and take care of everything right away. It is important to give yourself some time to let the shock of the collision wear off, and to ensure you and everyone else involved are truly injury-free. You may also want to contact your lawyer, or a number of personal injury lawyers before filing your claim to make sure all of your bases are covered.
For any additional information, be sure to consult the ICBC website, and be sure to bring your vehicle to Spotlite Collision for quality auto body repairs in the event of a collision!