What to do When You’re Rear-Ended

There’s a good chance that you’ve been stuck in traffic in Vancouver because of a rear-end collision. Every driver eventually faces a situation where they must slam on the brakes, whether because of another vehicle on the road or a pedestrian stepping out unexpectedly. This can lead to a rear-end collision. They are the most common type of collision and can vary in severity, from repairing car paint to having serious auto body repair. In the United States, more than 40% of the 6 million collisions every year are rear-end accidents. For this reason it is important that drivers are well informed on what to do if they are rear-ended.

Whether you’re in busy downtown Vancouver or out in the country, rear-end collisions can happen anywhere. While we all wish we could skip an unnecessary trip to a Vancouver auto body shop, accidents are a part of life. If this happens to you, here are some steps to follow after the collision:

  1. Try to remain calm, and assess the situation around you
  2. Check yourself and others for injuries and immediately seek medical attention if necessary
  3. Call the police and report the accident
  4. Record the other vehicle’s plate number and exchange insurance information with the other driver
  5. Get a copy of the accident report
  6. Contact your insurance company
  7. Visit a Vancouver car paint and auto body repair shop

Insurance Considerations

In most rear-end collisions the fault typically falls on the driver who rear-ends the driver in front. This is because usually the driver in the rear should be able to see that the vehicle in front is slowing or braking and should have enough space and time to apply the brakes for their vehicle. In this case, the insurance company of the driver that hits your vehicle should be covering the damages.

 There are however, a few scenarios in which the driver in the front could be liable for the collision. Here are a few examples:

  1. The driver in the front reverses their vehicle into you
  2. The driver’s vehicle does not have working brake lights
  3. The driver does not engage the hazard lights or pull over when an unexpected occurrence takes place. For example, hazards like getting a flat tire, or engine failure
  4. A driver brakes suddenly for an unexpected turn, and fails to turn

 It is a good idea to make sure that you check your lights regularly to make sure you do not have any out. It is also a good idea to watch how you brake when heading for a stop, whether it’s a stop sign or a red light. Slow and gradual braking is best, and make sure you use your signal lights when you need to. This gives the driver behind you the best chance of avoiding a surprise. Don’t want to ruin your car paint if you don’t have to!

Tips to avoid rear-ending another vehicle:

It can be tough in a city like Vancouver to always make sure that there is enough space between you and the vehicle ahead, but it is recommended that you maintain at least two or three car lengths. Another great tip to minimize your risk of rear-ending someone is to try and be more defensive in your driving style. Be aware of not just the car in front of you, but also be aware of any slowing traffic ahead. Avoid all types of distracted driving, whether it’s your phone, your passengers, or even eating in the car. Being alert is an important factor in safe driving, and will be the best protection for your car’s paint job.

 Hopefully this information will help if you end up getting rear-ended. Whether you have car paint damage, or other auto body needs, please come visit a Vancouver Spotlite Collision ICBC Approved Body Shop!