What to Do in the Event of a Collision

Sooner or later, most every driver will enter in a car accident. They can be both stressful and serious situations, but knowing what to do and being prepared can go a long way in resolving the situation as quickly and effectively as possible.

Please consider printing off a copy of these instructions to keep in your vehicle.

Have the right items on hand

  • Keep a set of cones, warning triangles, or other road markers to alert traffic
  • Have a card filled out with any relevant medical information for yourself and other frequent passengers or drivers registered to the vehicle

What to do following a collision

  • Remain calm
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • Check for injuries to yourself or other passengers; call 911 if anyone is hurt
  • If the accident is minor, move the vehicle to a safe spot out of traffic; set up cones or traffic markers if necessary
  • Phone the police, even if the accident appears to be minor
  • If involved in a multi-vehicle collision, exchange the following information with the other driver(s) involved:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone number(s)
    • License number
    • Insurance company name & policy number
  • Take photographs of the damage to the vehicles and any related road conditions (e.g. tire skid marks, downed traffic signs, etc.)
  • Retain any witnesses on hand; get their eye-witness report of the accident, along with their contact information and consent to be contacted by your attorney or insurance agent
  • Phone your insurance company as soon as possible

What NOT to do following a collision


  • Attempt to move anyone who is injured; wait for medical personnel to arrive on scene in order to prevent further injuries or trauma
  • Leave the scene of the accident; this is a criminal offence
  • Discuss liability
  • Sign any documents other than the police report
  • Accept an offer for payment from the other driver instead of going through the proper insurance procedures. If you are not at fault, your driving record will not be affected, nor will you have to pay a damage deductible during the repair process
  • Have your vehicle repaired without first alerting your insurance company; such work may not be guaranteed

Other tips

  • For insurance purposes, keep receipts and records of all follow-up medical visits
  • Stay with your vehicle until the police have finished their investigation and left the scene