Vehicle collision protocol – 101

Whether you’re driving to work, running errands or heading up to the cottage, chances are that you will unfortunately be in at least one minor collision at some point in your life.Avoid becoming a nervous wreck by knowing what to do when a collision occurs.

After you’ve been in an accident, experts agree that you should remember to:

  • Move your vehicle off the road.
    If the collision is minor, move your car into the nearest parking lot or driveway.
  • Call 911 -- Have your driver’s license and proof of insurance ready when you make the call.
    Once the authorities have been notified, write down the other driver’s name, insurance details and policy number, as well as all information related to their car.
  • Do not discuss accident details.
    Avoid conversations or disputes surrounding the accident by not recounting the details with the other drivers and passengers, and never admit fault.
  • Keep your claim number.
    The officer onsite will assess the accident and determine who is at fault. They will then write a report and give you what is called an accident claim number. It is very important to keep this information handy and in a safe place for future reference.
  • Call your insurance company.
    If the accident is your fault, call your insurance company as soon as possible. If it’s not, use the other driver’s policy information to avoid paying a deductible.
  • Report to a collision centre.
    By law, drivers involved in a collision must report into a Collision Reporting Centre (CRC) within 24 hours.

“Even the most minor collision can be quite stressful but the process involved in getting back on the road is quite simple,” says Stefanie Hay, insurance and claims expert for Aviva Canada. “Once you’ve visited your local CRC, your insurance company will actually handle the damage appraisal, give you a repair estimate and arrange for a rental car.” For more information, contact your insurance broker, visit www.changeinsurance.ca or call 1-866-My Aviva (692-8482).

 

By Gillian Birch
-- News Canada