Nov 25, 2011
Sandy Liguori - Tada President 2011-2012
One of the realities of driving an automobile is the possibility of being involved in a collision. It’s estimated that one out of every four people who drive will be involved in a traffic accident in their lifetime.
That’s not including the thousands of smaller accidents that occur each year, where motorists avoid making claims to avoid increases in their insurance premiums.
According to Transport Canada, auto collisions cost the province of Ontario $17.9 billion per year (2009), not to mention the indirect costs of partial and total disability of victims and lost workdays — and the pain and suffering of victims and their families.
Every day, motorists are involved in traffic crashes and poor decisions cost them hundreds or thousands of dollars in excessive towing and storage fees and repair costs.
Here are 10 key points to consider:
Safety First. Make sure that you have some basic First-Aid and CPR training. You never know when you might be called upon to provide some form of roadside medical assistance or provide comfort for someone who’s been injured.
Select a Collision Repair Facility. Choose a facility that you know and trust. It could be a new car dealership; all dealers have collision repair facilities on site, or they are affiliated with a reputable shop. Get to know the company and the repair procedures.
Exchange Information. Regardless of the extent of the vehicle damage or personal injuries, obtain appropriate information (name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number) from all parties involved, including witnesses.
Don’t Sign a Tow Authorization Form. A tow truck operator may ask you to sign a waiver at the accident scene. Don’t. Tow truck drivers in Ontario are unregulated and some are mostly interested in serving their own interests (as evidenced by the recent case where two drivers were caught racing to an accident scene and are now facing stunt driving charges). Instruct to have your vehicle towed to a collision facility of your choosing. If you don’t know where to have your vehicle towed, send it to your new car dealer until you decide who will perform the repairs.
On that last point, a smartphone can be a handy device at an accident scene, for contacting the police, requesting medical aid or taking pictures of a damaged vehicle to assist in a police investigation or an insurance claim.This is reckless and puts your safety and that of other motorists at risk. Plus, it causes traffic jams. All motorists and passengers who are not directly involved in an accident should avoid taking pictures at accident scenes.