What to do after an accident
Be Prepared and Learn What to Do After a Collision
A crash or collision can be one of the most stressful and frightening moments in a person's life. Whether or not there are injuries, panic can and often does make it difficult to know what to do next.
Luckily, being prepared is an excellent way to diminish the stress of a car accident. And the steps are the same whether or not you're at fault. Try not to panic, don't leave the scene and ensure the safety of all involved before you do anything else.
- Edmonton Police Service (Non-Emergency)780-423-4567
- Freedom Ford Body Shop (Arrange Towing)780-462-7575
1. Stop. Ensure the safety of you and your passengers
Do not move the vehicle until you have confirmed that you and your passengers are not injured. Ask any passengers if they are ok and if anything hurts. Briefly look them over for any physical signs of injury and ask them to do the same for you. Sometimes in a state of shock you may not realize you are injured or feel pain right away. If there are injuries call 911 immediately. Regardless of the severity of the accident, you are legally obligated to stay at the scene of a collision until information has been exchanged so do not leave the scene.
2. Prevent secondary collisions - move to safety if possible
If you are not injured and it is safe to do so, move your vehicle further out of harm's way. Pull off to the shoulder for example. Do everything you can to alert other drivers that an incident has occured. Turn on your hazard lights, lift the hood of your vehicle and put cones around the scene if you have access to a safety kit. DO NOT exit the vehicle until it is safe to do so. Check for oncoming traffic before exiting the vehicle.
3. Check on others involved, prepare to exchange information
Gather your driver's license, insurance, registration and smartphone or pad of paper and pen. Follow the same process of checking over the other party for injuries. If anyone is injured call 911 if they haven't been called already, if there are signs of impaired driving call 911 immediately. In the case of a minor collision where no one is injured and a criminal offence has not been committed, police do not need to attend the scene.
4. Gather Info
If everyone involved is safe and both vehicles are driveable, police do not need to attend the scene. It is very very important to obtain the other driver's information. The best way to do this is by taking photos with your smartphone. If this is not possible, write it down. Do not leave the scene without gathering the following information from the other driver:
- Name & telephone number
- Insurance details
- Registration details
- Drivers License number
- Make, Model & License plate of their vehicle
5. Document the scene
Documenting the scene while it is fresh is important to help you remember what happened. Take a few photos of the accident scene and make note of how the accident occured. If the damage to both vehicles appears that it will total more than $2,000 you are legally obligated to report the accident at a Police station. They will ask you for a report of how the incident happened and the photos will come in handy for reference.
6. Make the important calls
After completing steps 1-5 you can leave the scene of the accident. If your car is not driveable call us at 780-462-7575 and we can arrange towing directly to our body shop and estimate the damage same day. You may also need to report the accident at a police station if the damage appears to be more than $2,000 for both vehicles combined. You will also need to call your insurance company to report the accident.