We all hope to get through life without too much damage. Everyone has to endure their share of scrapes, and if we’re drivers, chances are pretty high that we’ll be in at least some kind of fender bender (hopefully nothing worse!) along the way.
Because accidents happen! So if you live in Vancouver, Richmond or anywhere in the Lower Mainland, it’s good to know what the proper steps to take are, just in case one happens to you.
In the unfortunate event of a car collision, the first thing to do is pull over and assess the damage. Get off the road as soon as possible so that you don’t cause more issues for drivers around you, which will only add to the stress of an already stressful situation. If it’s dangerous to move your car, wait for help to show up.
Even the smallest of accidents cause a huge spike in adrenaline, so there’s a good chance you’ll be a little shook up. Before this turns into shock or anger, stop to take a breather.
Next, make sure there are no injuries.
If there is another driver or person involved in the accident, make sure that they are ok, too. If anyone is hurt, it’s a good idea to call an ambulance right away. Many times, injuries don’t cause immediate symptoms so be careful with yourself. Exchange information with the other parties, including full name, email address and phone number. It’s not unusual to ask to see a driver’s licence to make sure everything is above board.
Then take a look to check out the damage on the car. Is there any visible damage?
Do a thorough walk around, and if you have a phone, take photos of any new damage —dents, scrapes or anything worse.
Not all damage is visible. Sometimes structural damage has happened to the frame, the brakes or something internal like the electrical. Note if there are any smells coming from either car, including gas and smoke, and look underneath for any leaks.
Depending on the severity of the injuries and the damage incurred, you’ll soon have to call ICBC and make a report. Each party in the accident will make their own report. What happens next depends on the conditions of the accident. For example, was there someone clearly at fault or is it questionable who is responsible? Was there alcohol involved? Do the police or other emergency services need to be called?
ICBC will begin a file and take over the investigation of the accident. In some cases, you may want to call a lawyer to make sure you are getting the best representation possible.
Now you can assess whether you need to call a tow truck if your vehicle is in questionable condition, and to call an autobody repair shop if that’s where the vehicle is headed. It is always best to err on the side of safety. Even if there’s a slight risk that your car is not fit to drive, call for a tow. You don’t need another accident on the way home because your brakes fail!
At Grandcity, we see cars in a range of conditions following an accident and know how difficult the situation is for drivers. It’s important not to panic and make sure everyone is safe.
Whether you’re in a residential neighbourhood in Vancouver or on the road to Richmond, collisions, big or small, are scary. Always take precautions afterwards to ensure that everything is handled well, try to keep your cool and collect as much information as possible.