January 9, 2024

What to Do in a Car Accident: A Safety Guide

While it’s an unsettling thought, the reality is that each journey on the road has the potential for unforeseen incidents. More than 160,000 auto collisions occur per year on Canadian roads. Would you know what to do in a car accident?

Knowing the proper steps can ease an already tense situation and streamline any ensuing legal and insurance hurdles. This guide will help you be prepared should the unexpected happen on the road.


Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

If you get into a car accident, follow these steps to handle the situation.

Step 1: Stay Calm and Don’t Leave the Scene

First things first—remain calm! Feeling shaken after an accident is natural, but keeping a level head is crucial. Breathe deeply, giving yourself a moment to grasp the situation.

Next, switch on your hazard lights to alert other drivers. Ensure you and any passengers are unharmed. Then, cautiously approach the other involved party. Assess their well-being, and if there is any sign of injury or distress, dial 911 for help.

Also, remember that fleeing the scene of an accident is a serious criminal offense in all provinces.

Step 2: Exchange Information with the Other Party 

Next comes a crucial step in figuring out what to do in a car accident. While emotions might run high, exchanging names, contact details, and insurance information with the other driver is essential. It sets the foundation to be able to take any necessary follow-up actions. 

However, if you feel uneasy or unsure about this step, the police can assist you. Officers can facilitate this exchange, ensuring all necessary details are accurately shared, and they can write a police report. Remember, communication is critical in this type of situation.

Step 3: Document the Scene

A picture is worth a thousand words. If possible, snap some photos or record a video of the scene using your smartphone. The photos or video footage can be invaluable when you speak to your insurance or need a precise quote for auto body damage repairs. A visual record helps clarify and provides an undisputed account of the incident’s aftermath. 

Step 4: Get Medically Cleared 

One of the golden rules when pondering what to do in a car accident is prioritizing your health. You might walk away from a collision thinking, “I feel totally fine!” However, adrenaline can mask pain or discomfort, and certain injuries may not show symptoms right away. 

So, even if you’re convinced you’ve escaped without a scratch, heading to a doctor or urgent care centre is a smart move. Let a medical professional give you the all-clear. They can spot potential issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. Think of it as a safety net, ensuring post-accident aches, pains, or complications won’t catch you off guard.

Step 5: Call Your Insurance

Wondering where to report car accidents and how long you have to do so? Dial up your insurance company ASAP! They’re your go-to for explaining coverage specifics and kick-starting the claim process. 

If you are stranded on the roadside, your insurance representative can guide you on towing options, whether to your home or a collision repair shop. Remember, timelines can vary, so always ask them about how long you have to report a car accident to stay in the loop and avoid any potential hiccups.

Step 6: Decide Whether to Report the Accident

Here’s a common dilemma: How to privately deal with a car accident? While serious accidents certainly require police intervention, some minor fender benders can be privately addressed. 

If both parties agree and there are no injuries, you could resolve matters without involving insurance or the police. Some situations require contacting the police for legal reasons. Always prioritize safety and legality above all.

CARSTAR Can Help You Get Back on the Road

With the steps listed above, you should know what to do in a car accident. However, if your car is damaged, you’ll need help getting it back on the road safely. That’s when you turn to CARSTAR CA. 

Our auto body technicians are some of the best in the business, with timely turnarounds, affordable rates, and excellent customer service. Trust the CARSTAR CA experts for accident assistance and quality auto body repair at a location near you