What to Do When You’re in a Car Accident in Victoria, BC
What to Do When You're in a Car Accident
This article will cover everything you need to know in the event of a car accident. In a stressful situation it can be difficult to know what to do. The first step is to be prepared.
Accidents happen when you least expect them, and the severity can range greatly. A car accident can be as simple as a tiny fender bender to a complete vehicle write-off. If you’ve never experienced an accident before it can be hard to know what to do. What information do you need to collect? When do the police need to be involved? Let's take a peek.
What to Do First?
Firstly, ask yourself:
- Was anyone injured in the car accident?
- Do you suspect the other driver in the collision is impaired in any way?
If you answer yes to either, your first step is to call 9-1-1 and keep the vehicles where they are.
If no one was seriously injured but fluids are leaking, your airbag has deployed, or you are blocking traffic; call the police non-emergency lines. For Victoria Police, dial 250-995-7654, Saanich 250-475-4221, for West Shore 250-474-2264.
If none of these apply, you can move on to the next steps.
The Next Steps
If all the vehicles involved in the collision are still drivable, you can start collecting information. If they are not drivable, call for a tow first, then start collecting information.
Before leaving the scene of an accident make sure you trade the following information with the other driver:
- Legal Name
- License Plate Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Valid Registration information
- Proof of Active Insurance
You can copy the information down on a piece of paper or take photographs with your phone. Be diligent and make sure you receive and give everything.
Once the area around the accident is safe, it’s a good idea to use your smartphone to take pictures of any vehicle damage and the surrounding scene. These may help you in the future if there is a discrepancy between what you felt happen, and what the other party felt happen.
If there are any witnesses of the car accident, make sure to obtain their full name and contact information.
If not all drivers have the proper documentation (including a valid driver’s license, active registration, and vehicle insurance) take down as much information as you can. Use your common sense: if you suspect something isn't right, you can get the police involved. For example, if you suspect they are driving illegally and have not simply left their documents at home. Call the police non-emergency lines. For Victoria Police, dial 250-995-7654, Saanich 250-475-4221, for West Shore 250-474-2264.
Report the Incident to ICBC
It's important to report the incident to ICBC as soon as possible. It protects you as the driver and most importantly is required by law. You will need:
- License plate numbers of every vehicle involved
- Driver's license number of every driver involved
- Insurance information from vehicles (if any) not insured by ICBC
- If the police were called, having the file number may expedite the process
If Your Car is a Total Write-Off
At this point, the police will have been involved, your car towed, and the final verdict rendered. You have already been in touch with ICBC. They are your best first touch point for your insurance coverages. They can go over what's included in your insurance plan, and what isn't.
If you purchased your vehicle at Kia Victoria, we're your next call. Your sales person or one of our Finance Managers can check your file to see what coverages you added at the time of purchase and what you may be eligible to receive. Even if you don't have coverage, we will help you out as best we can and get you back on the road, on budget.
How to Reduce the Chance of a Car Accident
While you can’t guarantee that a collision will never happen to you, here are some steps to help greatly reduce the chances of being involved in a car accident:
- If road and weather conditions are poor, drive slower and give yourself more space to stop.
- Do not use your phone or other electronic devices that take your attention away from the road.
- Make sure you are in the proper lane well ahead of using an exit or intersection.
- Know your route well so you don’t need to check your navigation system constantly.
- Be aware of the vehicles around you and keep an eye out for reckless drivers.
- Make sure you are physically and mentally alert. Driving while tired can impair your driving as much as drunk driving.
We all hope we're never in an accident. If you ever are, feel free to give us a call at Kia Victoria. We can help you get back on the road as soon as possible.