What to Do After a Fender Bender
Follow these tips to streamline a stressful process.
If you’ve ever been involved in a minor collision (fender bender) you aren’t alone. Most of us will experience some sort of accident during our motoring careers. Even minor accidents can cause major headaches. Knowing how to react in a fender bender before it happens is the best way to make the process go as seamlessly as possible.
Car accidents can happen anywhere at any time, including highways, residential areas, parking lots, and even our own driveways. If you are involved in an accident, remaining calm and having a plan will lead to a stress-free and speedy repair.
Follow these steps if you are involved in a small accident, such as a fender bender:
1. Move the car to safety
A common question that is asked after a collision is, “should I move my car?” If the accident has occurred in a highly trafficked area, such as a highway, it is best to move your car out of the line of traffic and turn on your hazard lights. However, you should check the condition of everyone in the vehicle (including your self) before moving it. If someone is badly hurt, or the car can not be moved safely, keep the car where it is. Call 9-1-1 or ask someone to do it immediately.
2. Exchange information
You must exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, no matter who is at fault. This information will be necessary for filing a claim with your insurance provider. Exit your car on the opposite side of traffic and stand at a safe distance from traffic. The following information should be exchanged:
- Full name
- Phone number
- License plate number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance company and policy number
- Vehicle, make, model, colour
- Names and phone numbers of witnesses
3. Document the accident
In the modern age of the smartphone, most of us are equipped with cameras wherever we go. Take pictures of your car from many different angles to document the damage. When the police arrive, ask for their name, badge number, and phone number. Ask the officer when you can receive a copy of the accident report – this may take several days, but it is an important component of your records.
4. Contact your insurance company
Taking this step as soon as possible (ideally, while you are at the site of the accident) will help to jumpstart your claim. The insurance agent should ask for information relevant to the accident, including the other driver’s information. Ask your insurer about the specifics of your coverage, such as rental reimbursement and your deductible.
5. Choose a quality repair shop
Your insurer may make recommendations for you, but ultimately it is your decision where to take your vehicle. Finding a reputable shop is imperative to getting back on the road quickly and minimizing surprises down the road.
Even the smallest fender bender can be a stressful event. Knowing what steps to take and having a plan to follow will help you get through the process.
Not all collisions require an insurance claim and costly insurance premium increases. For small fender benders, Island Detail and Color is able to help you get back on the road with your car in showroom condition without a costly claim. We can give it a look and point you in the right direction if you are not sure – give us a shout