Crucial Steps to Remember after an Accident or Breakdown

Thursday, August 29, 2013

road-pylon-behind-carWhether it's a breakdown or an accident, these are perhaps the last two things the average motorist wants to endure when they're out on the road. Yet every year, millions of these incidents take place, causing frustration not only for the motorists involved but for other drivers, as these mishaps tend to create delays.

While performing regular maintenance tasks can help make these situations less likely, they can still happen even after a car receives a fresh supply of oil, as the starter may malfunction or the battery may lose its juice.

After a breakdown

However, by keeping these tips in mind, you can make the experience as painless as possible:

1. As soon as the car sounds as though its malfunctioning, pull off to the side of the road immediately, as far away from oncoming traffic as possible

2. If at all possible, remain in the vehicle and call for assistance. However, if you need to exit to check the engine or the tires, exit from the side of the car that's away     from traffic.

3. Ensure hazard lights are on.

4. Call for roadside assistance, whether from a car insurance company that offers it, an auto club or a family member.

5. Contact 911 immediately if there's an emergency that requires medical assistance.

After an accident

Perhaps the only thing that's even more of a headache than a breakdown is being involved in a collision. But similar to being involved in a breakdown the effects of a crash can be reduced, so long as you know what to do:

1. Check to see that everyone is OK. If someone has been injured, call 911 immediately.

2. Move the vehicles involved to the side of the road, if possible. If there's has been damage, get in touch with police.

3. In Alberta, if total damage appears to be more than $2,000, it must be reported to police.

4. Collect as many details about the accident as possible, including names, driver's license information, make and model data on the vehicles.

5. Exchange car insurance information. Insurers typically send out new cards each year for motorists to keep in their glove compartments.

6. A meeting with an insurance adjuster may be necessary to determine the overall damage totals and which party was at fault.

Latest car accident statistics in Alberta

According to the Alberta Transportation Office of Traffic Safety, car accidents in the province have become less common. Based on the latest statistics available, the number of automotive accidents fell 4 percent from 2009 to 2010. Additionally, traffic fatalities have diminished as well, falling from 351 in 2009 to 344 in 2010 - a 2 percent decline. Injuries have been less frequent as well, down 5 percent year-over-year.

As for the day of the week in which accidents were most likely to take place, Friday was the most collision-prone, typically occurring during the afternoon rush-hour. The Alberta Transportation Office says fatal collisions in 2010 were highest in number in July, while those that resulted in injury most frequently took place in October.