Tips If You Have An Accident
Drive Safely and Save While we kick the tires in the showroom and imagine ourselves cruising down the highway in a brand new car, not many of us stop to consider how we will insure the new beauty or what it will cost. Car insurance premiums are set according to your driving record, insurance record, the make and model of car you own, as well as the purposes for which it is used and where and how far you drive. Because insurance systems and the benefits attached to them vary widely from area to area, where you live will also affect how much you pay. You can help control the cost of your own insurance through the choices you make. Before buying a car, you may want to ask yourself some questions. How well will the car protect the occupants in a crash? How well will is assist the driver in avoiding a crash? How must will it cost to maintain? Will it hold its value in the resale market? Is it likely to be broken into or stolen? Each year, car insurance companies gather information about car accidents, theft and other incidents that lead to insurance claims. In addition to choosing your vehicle, you can help to control costs by driving responsibly. Check your own driving habits. Do you always use your mirrors to be aware of traffic around you, watch other vehicles to better anticipate their movements, and allow time to stop if the car ahead has to brake suddenly? Good drivers enjoy reduced premiums. Those who have collisions or convictions tend to pay more. A conviction for drinking and driving or even a “charge” will make life difficult until resolved. Don’t do it. Be careful who uses your car. If you lend your car to others and they cause an accident, your premium may be affected. Protect your car from thieves and vandals. Where possible, park in busy, well-lit areas. Try not to be obvious about putting valuable items in the car or the trunk and then leaving it unattended. Thieves appreciate clues about which car to break into- even in busy streets and in parking lots. There’s no shame in double-checking the doors when you consider they’re left unlocked in for that 80 per cent of cases involving stolen cars. A code number or identifying mark could help police recover your vehicle faster.. Engrave in your car a discreet inscription on the edge of the windshield or side window. Identifiable parts are more difficult for thieves to sell, and may stop them from targeting your car. Deterring thieves mean more time to spend on the road. Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) increase your visibility. Nearly half of all collisions occur when drivers fail to see one another or misjudge the speed of an on-coming vehicle. If your car does not have DRLs, make it a habit to turn low beams on very time you start the car. Wear your seatbelt properly and ensure everyone in your car does the same. If you can't prevent a collision, at least be prepared. AFTER THE ACCIDENT What to do when the accident involves you The best way to deal with an accident is to prevent one from happening. As a general rule, leave at least two seconds traveling distance between you and the car ahead. Measure the distance by picking a fixed marker and counting two “Mississippi”. If you pass the marker before you’ve finished counting, you’re probably traveling too close. IN poor weather conditions increase the distance to give yourself more time to stop. In the event that you are involved in an accident, respond decisively and immediately to remove any further risk of danger. Above all else, keep a clear head. Take charge and make the best of a bad situation. Turn the engine off. Be aware of your environment. Watch for electrical wires, hazardous chemicals, gases and spilled gasoline that could result in a fire. Protect yourself and others from additional injury, then call the police or 9-1-1 if emergency assistance is necessary. Look underneath and around cars for victims who might have been thrown during the accident. Don’t move an injured person unless they’re at risk of drowning or burning. IF you are qualified to do so, treat for severe bleeding and unconsciousness. If you’re injured-stay put. If no one is hurt and the vehicles involved are sage to drive, encourage the drivers to move them to the side of the road to avoid disrupting the flow of traffic. Next gather as much of the following information as you can. Record the date, time and place of the accident. Document your speed and that of the other vehicles involved as well as weather and road conditions. Take down the names, addresses, phone numbers, vehicle license numbers, insurance companies, passenger names, makes, models and year of every vehicle and driver involved in the accident. Be sure to note the damage done to all vehicles involved. IF you have a spare camera or even a disposable, keep it in the car as a recording tool. Write down the names and addresses of any witnesses and /or injured parties. Don'’ forget to get the name badge number and detachment of the investigating officer. Sketch the accident on a piece of paper complete with street names, traffic signals and any objects which may have been involved in the collision. Even in situations where there appears to be no visible damage, it’s a good idea to take down the driver’s name and license number as well as established that no harm has been done. This will help to protect you from those who may try to file a claim against you a few months later. Now that you know what to do, here’s what not to do. Don’t authorize anyone to repair your vehicle. Don’t let a tow truck driver take off with your car before negotiating the fee. Towing can be expensive- know the price up front. Finally , never admit liability. You only know what happened to you. Once you've done all of this you've only two calls left to make. Call your family, then contact your insurance broker.