Did you know that almost 20 per cent of reported collisions in Canada happen during July and August? Here's what to do if it happens to you.
Many drivers think that they’re more likely to get into a collision when conditions are terrible; when it’s cold and there’s ice and snow on the road. But the reality is there are more collisions in August than in any other month, according to Canada's National Collision Database. And, almost 20 per cent of reported collisions in Canada happen during July and August combined.
What to do if you’re in a collision
Accidents are stressful, no matter how minor. You can ease the stress somewhat if you’re prepared. Here's what you need to know if you’re in a collision:
- Don’t leave the scene, it’s against the law.
- If anyone is injured, call 911.
- Stay safe. If possible, move your vehicle out of the way of traffic (by pulling on to a shoulder or side street), put your hazard lights on to warn oncoming drivers, or set out warning triangles.
- Even if you think you may be in the wrong, don’t take responsibility for the collision. And, if you think the other driver is at fault, don’t assign blame. This only escalates the situation. It us up to the insurance companies to investigate and determine fault in an accident.
- Assess the damages, and if necessary report the collision to the police. In Alberta and Ontario, for example, collisions that appear to have more than $2,000 in damage must be reported to the police.
You MUST report a collision to the police if there are injuries, no matter what the dollar value damage to the cars involved.
- Exchange details with all drivers involved. Make note of each driver's name, address, telephone number, licence number, insurance company name and policy number, and the year/make/model of the vehicle.
- Document the number and names of all passengers involved.
- Look for witnesses. If someone saw the collision, ask witnesses if you can contact them to support your version of what happened.
- While it is still fresh in your mind, jot down details about the collision. What day and time did it happen? What were the weather, road and light conditions? Where did it happen?
- Contact your insurer. They’ll be able to guide you through the reporting and claims process.
Car collisions and your auto insurance
Don’t let the sunny, warm days trick you into a false sense of security behind the wheel. Take care, stay safe, avoid driver distractions, and drive carefully to keep your car insurance premiums in check.
But, accidents happen…even to the best drivers. If you are in an at fault accident, you might see a rate increase at renewal time. Compare car insurance rates to see what other insurance companies can offer you. Despite not having a flawless record, some insurance companies are more forgiving than others.
Canadian car accident statistics come from Canada's National Collision Database