What To Do in A Fender Bender
September 27th, 2022
Twice a year, traffic tends to increase on our roadways. Summertime, when everyone converges on their favourite vacation spot, and the winter holidays, when families gather together.
When the number of vehicles on the road increases, statistics say the chances of you being in an auto accident are much higher. But what do you do in a fender-bender situation? Being prepared for this potential scenario is the best thing you can do.
The following seven steps will assist you in being prepared should you face a fender bender.
Step 1: Do not Panic
This is the big one and probably the most significant. Try your best to stay calm. Yes, an accident, even a small one, can make you feel fear and panic, potentially even anger depending on which end of the accident you are on. The important thing here is to remain calm because the first course of action is to get everyone to safety. Stay focused and take note of your surroundings.
Step 2: Ensure Everyone in Your Car is Okay
Unless someone is in a life-threatening position, their shaken-up state will have to tended to after you proceed through the other steps. A passenger’s condition will let you know how quickly you need to continue through the following steps, especially if you have an elderly passenger with a heart condition or other ailment that could have gotten triggered.
Step 3: Pull Over if Possible
Take note of your surroundings. Are you impeding traffic? What lane is your vehicle in? If the accident is minor and a simple bumper tap, do these three things:
- Put on your flashers and pull over to the shoulder where you are completely out of traffic flow.
- Signal to the other driver you are moving to a safer location.
- Park as far off the road as you can.
Safety is key. If you are in the middle of the road and there is traffic, do not leave your vehicle and put yourself in harm’s way. There are far too many other drivers on the road to be put yourself in a position where they may not see you.
You may not believe it is possible, but all it takes is one distracted driver, and you could make your simple fender bender much worse. Stay in your vehicle until it is safe to get out.
Step 4: Call Emergency Dispatch and Give Details
When you are safe, call emergency services. Even if it is a simple bumper tap and there is no damage. You need to file a police report, especially if you are the tapper. There is a chance the other party may attempt to sue later, complaining of back and neck injuries due to the accident.
You may begin to experience pain due to a fender bender, and you may find difficulty filing a claim because it is after the fact. It is always best to report all incidents at the time. Even if the other party says you do not need a police report, insist on it. Tell them law enforcement has already been called. They will be required to stay at that point.
Important things to note and remember:
- Date and time of the accident
- Where the accident occurred
- Traffic conditions
- Weather conditions
- What lane you were in
- Other vehicle or driver information, if able
Step 5: Stay on the Side of the Highway
After you have called emergency services and you are in a safe area along the side of the highway, always behave as if you are still in harm’s way. You have seen the YouTube videos. Stay well off the shoulder. Do not let anyone stay in the vehicle while you are parked. Exchange information as quickly as possible and get out of traffic.
Even sitting on the shoulder, you are impeding traffic because you have to deal with those who slow down out of respect for those involved or want to see what happened. Either way, you are an additional obstacle to traffic. The sooner you finish your information exchange, the sooner traffic can get back to normal.
Step 6: Exchange Information With the Other Party Without Blame
Here is one that could be difficult to do. Yes, you want to exchange information. Give them the information on your insurance card. That should have all the information they need: your name and the insurance company. You do not want to give them personal information like your address or phone number. This is an insurance matter, and the insurance is all they need.
Do not accept blame or admit guilt as it can be used against you. You also do not want to become abrasive. Remember, so much in our world is caught on camera. You never know what is being recorded. Your admission of guilt, cursing, and swearing could be the next viral video.
Bonus: While they may only give you their name and insurance card info, get as much information as possible from them. This may require detective work. Take down the make, model, and license plate of the car. Write down the damage done to their vehicle. Write down other details you may notice. This will help you in case it may not be included in the police report. And you are within your right to take photographs.
Step 7: Wait for Law Enforcement and EMS
With you and the other party in a relatively safe area and information exchanged, by that time, law enforcement and medical services should be on site by now. Insist that a full police report be taken, and if both parties denied medical care, that be noted at the time if that is the case. This is for your safety and protection. Even a minor fender bender can turn into a major court case if you are not cautious from the beginning.
An important reminder: The best way to avoid a fender bender is to know your surroundings and keep your eyes on the road. Texting and talking on your phone can be a major distraction. In 2020, a study showed that 47% of Canadian residents admitted to using their phones while driving. The same survey showed that 27% of serious injuries came from cell phone-related auto accidents.
Knowing what to do in a fender-bender situation before it occurs can help you when it occurs. The main point is to remain calm. When you are focused, you can ensure that the situation will be handled properly. Most of all, your insurance company will be happy when you have all the necessary documentation. This way your fender bender claim can be handled quickly and repairs can be made as fast as possible.
How You Can Get Started
When you are involved in an auto accident, even a minor fender bender, it can become a serious situation if you do not take appropriate precautions. You want to ensure you and the other party are first out of harm’s way.
You also want to ensure you are under the protection of the best auto insurance policy, like from agents with Duliban Insurance. They find you the best insurance policy at a price you can afford.
Contact us today. We are ready to answer any questions you may have. We can provide you with a free quote based on your vehicle and the type of coverage you seek.