What To Do If You Are In A Collision
Posted in AUTO BODY, on June 29, 2021
If you drive a vehicle, there’s always a chance you will be in a collision. You’re going to want to know what to do before you get into a collision, rather than get into one and panic because you don’t know what to do. Here are some suggestions on what you should do in the case of an accident.
The very first thing you should do is stop. In Ontario, you are required to stay at the scene of the collision. If you fail to remain at the scene, you could face criminal prosecution charges. It is best to put your four-way blinkers (hazards) on, turn off your engine, and stay in your car to ensure your safety.
The next thing you should do is call the police, if these circumstances are present:
- Someone is injured
- Damage to the car appears to exceed $2000
- You suspect any of the other drivers involved are intoxicated by either drugs or alcohol
If you are unsure, call the police and the operator will inform you if the police are required on the scene. Follow all directions from the operator.
For minor accidents when police are not required on scene, call a collision reporting centre within 24 hours of the accident.
After you’ve called the police (if required), you should take photos of the scene. When it is safe, exit the vehicle and take photos of the scene with your cell phone or camera. You will need the photos for the insurance companies.
When it is safe to do so, and, if possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road, out of the way of traffic. If you are unable to move your vehicle, it is best to set up cones or road flares, if you have any. If it is cold, you can stay in your car or use a blanket (if you have one) to stay warm while you wait for the emergency crew to arrive.
You are going to want to record all the details of the accident, so be sure to record the:
- Weather Conditions
- Road Conditions
- Estimated Speed
- Description of the accident
It is important to have this information on hand when you make your statement to the police, so you know it is accurate and truthful.
You’ll also want to get the information from any drivers involved. Here is what you should get from them:
- Phone Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Vehicle License Plate Number
- Vehicle Make and Colour
- Registered Owner of the Vehicle
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Insurance Company
- Insurance Policy Number and Expiry
- Damage to their Vehicle
- Number of Passengers in the Vehicle
- Names of the Passengers and their Positions in the Vehicle
You should also get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident. If the police are not required on scene, you still need to swap information with the other driver(s).
The very last thing you should do is call your insurance company as soon as possible after the collision. You need to provide them with all the information you have regarding the accident.
The most important thing to remember during a collision is, DO NOT voluntarily assume liability or take responsibility, sign statements regarding fault, or promise to pay for damage at the scene of the accident. As well, if your vehicle has to be towed away from the scene, make sure you get the name and licence number of the tow truck operator and/or company. Make sure you understand where your vehicle is being towed and be cautious of unauthorized tow truck drivers and tow truck scams. The one thing you always need to remember to do, no matter how hard, is to stay calm.
To read more about what to do in road emergencies and collisions in Ontario, check the Ontario website here.
Do I have to take my vehicle to a body shop that my insurance company recommends?
No, you do not have to take your vehicle to the shop that your insurance company is recommending. Your insurance company cannot demand you get repairs at a certain shop, they can only suggest a direct repair shop to you. You, and only you, get to make your own decision on which repair shop you want to bring your vehicle to, it is your property. Your insurance is not a repairer, so they try to steer you to the DRP shop, because it is cheaper for them to install used and aftermarket parts on your vehicle. But remember, 100% OEM is against used parts. Make your decision based on a place you know you can trust and that will follow car manufacturer recommendations.
Do I have to take my vehicle to a drive-in claims center?
No, you do not have to take your vehicle to a drive-in claims center. If you choose to take your vehicle to a different shop, your insurance company must inspect the damage to your vehicle at the collision repair shop you have requested.
What is steering and how do I know if I am being “steered” by my insurance company?
Steering is when your insurance company tries to convince you to use the shops they recommend. If they are telling you things such as “they are not on our preferred list,” “we won’t pay the difference,” or “we've had a hard time with that shop, and are unable to work with them,” you are probably being steered. All of these statements are misleading and ultimately untrue. Here at Modern Automotive, we are licensed and OEM certified by many brands. We have state-of-the-art equipment to repair your vehicle to OEM standards and have access to brand-specific repair information!
Why should I choose my own repair shop instead of the one suggested by my insurance company?
The shop your insurance company suggests works for the insurance company, whereas we work for you. Here at Modern Automotive, we want your vehicle to get back on the road with original parts. We will protect your property because, for us, your vehicle is not just an assigned number, you are our customer for life. We will look out for your best interest and ensure that the correct repair procedures are performed so your vehicle will be safe for you to drive. We are certified by OEM (Kia, Nissan, Genesis, Jeep, Ram, Hyundai, Ford National Bodyshop, Chrysler, Honda). We have the best knowledge and tools to repair your vehicle to OEM standards. So, what is the difference? It's not ending by just replacing damaged parts. Even for minor collision damage we will inspect any collision safety-related sensors, seat belts, and steering components. Our commitment is to get your vehicle back to safe and pre-collision condition, so you can get it back on the road.
If you have been in a collision and are in need of repairs, Modern Automotive can help provide your vehicle with the collision repairs it needs. Contact us today for speedy and reliable repair service.