Accident Checklist: What to Do After a Crash
Being involved in an traffic accident is naturally stressful. But it’s important that you remain calm in order to protect yourself and your passengers (physically and legally!) So, if you if you want to know what to do in an accident, read on. We’ve also provided a printable version of this Accident Checklist that you can keep in your glovebox. We hope you never need it!
- Remain calm. Check if you or any of your passengers have suffered injury
- Shut off the engine and turn on your hazard lights
- If anyone has been injured contact emergency services
- Gather information from all involved in crash
- Don’t offer to admit fault or to pay for the repairs.
- Contact your insurance provider
When to Notify the Police
Contact the police within seven days if your collision involves any of the following:
- Serious injury
- Unlicensed driver
- Unregistered vehicle
- Failure to record driver’s information
- Unidentified vehicle or driver (hit and run)
- Driver suspected to be under the influence of drugs/alcohol
Other Driver Information
Ask to see the driver’s license, registration, and insurance information. Remember, The Highway Traffic Act requires drivers involved in a collision to provide their information to those who have suffered an injury or damage to their property.
If involved in a collision, you should collect the following information from the other drivers involved:
- Name, address, and phone number
- License number and province
- VIN and license plate number
- Vehicle year, make, and model
- Insurance policy and number
If the owner of the vehicle is not the driver, get the owner’s name, address, and phone number as well.
Before you leave the scene of the accident, you should record an outline of how the collision occurred. Each time we recall a memory, we unconsciously alter it, so the sooner you write down the facts, the more closely it will resemble the truth.
You should record details like the direction your vehicle and the vehicle with which it collided were travelling, each of their speeds, the location of the collision, and the road conditions. Additionally, you should note any signals the other driver made of their intent to proceed as well as how each of you interacted with relevant traffic controls (stop signs, lights, lane markings, et c…).
Follow all of these steps to protect yourself when the worst happens. You can find a detailed list of the information you should record in our downloadable Accident Checklist along with space to draw a diagram of the collision.