No matter how diligent and cautious drivers may strive to be, accidents can and do happen every day on the road. Knowing what to do and who to call can go a long way toward reducing anxiety in such a high-stress situation. Here’s what to do if you’re ever involved in a car accident.
Stay calm. Check for injuries first and if there are any, call 911. In the case of a minor collision where both cars are drivable, turn on your hazard lights and move to a safe place.
Exchange information. Exchange documents such as licenses, insurance, and registration, as well as contact information with all drivers involved.
Take notes. Write down or use your smartphone to capture photos of your car, intersection and surroundings, and make sure to get the contact information of any witnesses.
Make calls. If the accident is not an emergency, call the local police for instructions (in Ottawa, call 613-236-1222). Call your auto insurance agent to notify them of the incident and to find out how to proceed.
Call CAA. If you have a CAA Membership and need a tow, call CAA at 613-820-1400 or 1-800-CAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357). Remember that in Ottawa, tow trucks are not allowed within 100 metres of a collision unless they have been called by you, your insurance company, or the police.