Accident etiquette 101

By HUB SmartCoverage Team on August 23rd, 2018

In this post, we're going to go over 5 tips you should always remember if you find yourself in any sort of car accident. Keeping these points in mind will save you from going overboard during a heated moment.

The other day we looked at what to do during a hit and run, but hopefully, your next unfortunate scenario will have the other driver stick around!

Check for any injuries before anything

The first and foremost thing to do in an accident situation is to check for the injured, including yourself. Your car's façade matters much less than human safety -- check other drivers, yourself and any pedestrians if you're able. Call for help immediately if there are any serious injuries.

Can everyone exit the vehicle? Are there any broken bones? Is a door pushed in, preventing exit?

Move your vehicle out of the way

It's helpful for other road users if you're able to move your vehicle off the road, or at least out of the way. Take some photos beforehand if you wish.

In Ontario: if no one is hurt and the car is driveable, police ask you to kindly move it out of the way until help arrives. There is no law that forces you to move your car, it's more of a suggestion that could help others get to your vehicle faster (CAA, tow truck, police). They won't have to battle the traffic that the roadblock will cause.

If you cannot move your vehicle, or if there is a provincial law that forbids it, both parties should put their hazard lights on.

Assess the damage and exchange information

A key stage of accident etiquette is exchanging information with the other driver after the above steps have been accomplished.

Tempers may be raging or they may be calm, but it's required by law that each party exchange their full names, contact information, and vehicle registration.

The at-fault driver (if police determine fault) should provide their insurance information for the other driver to file a claim. 

Contact law enforcement

Tell the operator about the extent of injuries and where the vehicles are located. If injuries are severe, emergency services will be on the way.

Otherwise, this call allows you to report the accident and get local police to the scene so they can do their own reporting.

Keep your calm

Always be polite to the other driver, regardless of who caused what. This will be a stressful event for everyone on the road. Be simple, direct, and maintain your composure. Make sure you get all the information you need to move forward and repair your vehicle.

Following these etiquette rules can help reduce stress levels for all involved during any road accident. Hopefully, no one is hurt and everyone can walk away with their dignity intact.

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