In the unfortunate circumstance that you have been involved in a vehicle collision, there are a few steps that you should take to ensure that everyone involved stays safe and the processes for repairs and insurance claims go smoothly. Some of the processes have changed, so it is a good idea to brush up on the rules for your municipality.
What to Do If You Are in a Collision
Follow these steps if you are in a collision:
1) Pull over immediately.
2) Call 911 if anyone is injured, if you suspect the other driver may be impaired or if there is damage to private, municipal, or highway property.
3) If nobody is injured or impaired and the vehicles are drivable, move them out of traffic. If one or both of the vehicles are not drivable, turn on hazard lights and/or place safety cones or flares to alert other drivers on the road.
4) Exchange contact and insurance information. Be sure to include the driver’s name, address, driver’s license number as well as any passenger’s names. Use this handy form to make sure you are getting all of the right information. A photo of the driver’s license, insurance, vehicle registration, and license plate usually provides most of the information required.
5) Take pictures of the damage if possible.
6) Report the collision to the appropriate authorities. If the combined property damage is over $2,000, report the collision at the local police station unless you live in Grande Prairie, Edmonton, Lethbridge, or Medicine Hat. In these cities, report to a Collision Reporting Centre. Failure to report a collision could result in a hefty fine.
7) Contact your insurer as soon as possible.
What Has Changed in Collision Reporting?
In most places in Alberta, the rules have remained the same for reporting a non-injury traffic collision. In the majority of locations, if the vehicles are drivable then the collision can be reported at a police station for the district in which the collision took place. For example, an accident that occurred in Calgary must be reported in Calgary.
In Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, non-injury traffic collisions must be reported at a local Collision Reporting Centres. These centres, which are paid for by insurance companies, are designed to help streamline the reporting process and free up valuable law enforcement resources.
Overall, it is most important to stay calm, stay safe, and call 911 if anyone is hurt or if you suspect the other driver is impaired in some way.