Have you ever been in a fender bender? We sure hope not! But if you ever find yourself in an accident after possibly making a wrong turn or not paying attention at a four-way stop, here’s everything you need to know so that you are fully prepared.
1. Don’t Lose Your Cool
First things first, check to see if you’re hurt and then if other passengers need help, not if the vehicle is damaged. Oh, and this may sound weird, but don’t be quick to apologize and take the blame (hard to do because we’re Canadian) because it can be used against you when finding out who’s at fault. If you can, call 911 immediately if someone is found to be hurt.
The City of Calgary recommends two ways to report an incident:
1. Call 911 if there are injuries
2. If no one is hurt and cars are drivable, you can report it to the district office
Make sure to then move your vehicle to the side of the road so traffic doesn’t hit you. Even if you can’t move it, turn on your hazard lights to let oncoming traffic know you’ve had an accident. This would be a good time to have your emergency kit ready.
Watch this AMA video on what you’ll need:
2. Get Your Phone/Camera Out
Remember when you wish you had snapped that embarrassing photo of your friend who split their pants or that unforgettable wedding dance? When it comes to accidents, you’ll really wish you had taken a photo of what happened, because it can cost you serious cash.
Take snapshots of the vehicles involved in the accident from multiple angles and have the owner be in them. Any photographic evidence is better than none at an accident, because your insurance company needs to see what happened to determine who is in the wrong. Sometimes no pictures can make it difficult to prove that there was an accident at all.
3. Take Some Notes
Just like you were a student in class, it’s important to take notes of a car accident like:
- Drivers license
- Insurance details
- Description of the passengers and driver
- Damage done
- Witness names
- Contact info: phone numbers and emails
Here’s a worksheet that summarizes the “MUST-HAVE” information you’ll need to grab after an accident.
4. Call For A Tow Ride
If your car is undrivable, there’s no need to blame anyone. Just call for a tow. If you have a CAA membership, you get several roadside calls every year. You’ll be towed to a mechanic or body shop. There you can get an estimate on repairing the damages.
5. Let Insurance Know
Insurance should be a contact in your speed dial.
Don’t worry, your rates won’t go up if you call, especially when the accident wasn’t your fault. You can get some good advice even if you don’t choose to file a claim. The insurance team may send you an adjuster, a representative who assesses how much your insurance provider will cover, and they might provide a rental car in the meantime.
Read more about what to do - and not to do - in case of an accident from the Globe and Mail.
They’ll recommend a top-rated shop in your city that they trust to get your car repaired right.
If the other driver offers cash for damages at the scene, kindly refuse. The only cash you should be willing to accept is the cash we dish out for good driving behaviour with the Carrot app. The damage might look small, but you could have whiplash, or worse, without knowing it, and your insurance can’t cover medical bills without proper records of the accident.
So don’t forget: take notes!
6. Getting Your Vehicle Repaired
- Submit your claim - Ask your insurer for a proof of loss claim form so the process doesn’t get stalled.
- Cost Estimate - Getting multiple quotes is never a bad idea, and your insurance company may request them
- Choose Your Shop - Generally speaking, no two shops are alike. So choose wisely by looking at their reviews, whether they have BBB certification, and are a part of the Motor Vehicle’s Association or AMA’s AARS approved shop.
*Learn more about other auto accidents and insurance on the Government of Alberta website.
Accidents aren’t something that drivers look forward to, but in the event that they do happen, the aftermath process will go smoothly if you’re prepared. Just stay calm, make sure no one is hurt and follow the steps.
When it comes to calling your insurance provider, Carrot tech is backed by InsureMy and new drivers get 10% off their premium when they sign up.
HOW DO I GET CARROT?
Carrot is as easy to use as 123:
- Enroll with InsureMy (plus get a 10% discount)
- Connect your vehicle to the Drive With Carrot App
a. (Download it on iTunes or Google )
- Buckle up and start getting cash rewards for driving smart!
Know a parent or new driver who needs to read this? You can share it using these:
Do you agree it’s time to start rewarding good driving? Tell us why or why not on social!
Use #AskCarrot on social media, Message our Facebook page, or visit our FAQ page for more info!