The bad news is, no matter how diligent you are as a driver, anyone can be involved in a roadside collision. According to numbers released by ICBC, road collisions were at an all-time high for British Columbians in 2017, averaging 960 crashes a day and 350,000 in total. The good news is, you can control how you handle the incident and prevent further damage by following a few steps after the fact.
Your first priority after impact is to ensure that no further damage occurs. If your vehicle is drivable, pull over to the side of the road and away from oncoming traffic as soon as you can do so safely. Turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights before exiting the car (use the passenger door if necessary to avoid traffic).
No matter how small the collision, you are legally obligated to stop at the scene and exchange information with the other drivers involved. If you hit a parked vehicle with no driver on scene, write down your contact information on a piece of paper and leave it under their windshield wipers.
If the car is undrivable after impact, remain in the car with your seatbelt fastened and call for help immediately.
Check For Injuries
If passengers in your car or other cars involved have been hurt, don’t move them unless they’re in immediate danger. In the event of injuries, call 911 and wait for help to arrive.
Record Details and Damage
Once the scene has been secured and everyone is safe, exchange the following details about the accident to help with the insurance-claim process:
Date, time and location of accident
Names, contact info and driver’s license numbers of the drivers involved
License plate numbers of the vehicles involved
Record any injuries that occurred in the incident and any damage to the vehicles involved
Contact information and accounts from any witnesses that were present for the accident
Details of the weather conditions, road quality, lighting or other factors (eg. intoxication) that might have contributed to the accident
If it’s safe to do so, photograph or video any damage to the vehicles or surrounding area, along with the position of the vehicles involved, skid marks or damage to public property
Whatever happens, never allow yourself to get pressured into taking the blame for a collision. Record the details of the accident to the best of your ability and let your insurance company take care of the rest. To ensure all the recorded information is correct, we recommend photographing the driver’s licenses, insurance information and license plates of the other vehicles involved.
File a Police Report If Necessary
In the case of more serious accidents that result in human injury, extensive vehicle damage, damage to property or a criminal offence (such as a hit-and-run or driving under the influence), you will need to file a police report. For minor accidents, skip to the next step.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
You will need to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to get started with the claim-filing process. Our team is available from 9am to 5pm at 604-282-0671 or 1-833-222-9981 to assist you. Have your name and Stratford policy number ready as you dial, along with details about the incident and any damage that may have occurred to your vehicle.
As a BC driver, you will also need to file a claim with ICBC in certain cases. If another vehicle is involved, if you or someone else has been injured or there is damage to private or municipal property (such as a sign, post or barrier) you must file a claim. You can do so online at thiswebsite.
Organize Vehicle Repair If Necessary
If your vehicle incurred damage during the accident, please contact your Stratford adjuster and they will be happy to help coordinate the repairs. If the damage is minor and you would like to handle the repairs on your own, take a look at our extensive network of body shops across BC, as most offer a 10% discount to Stratford drivers.
Only leave the scene once you’re fully recovered from any shock from the accident and feel confident that you’ve collected sufficient details of the incident.