With winter driving conditions approaching, it is important to leave space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Even with a space cushion, collisions can occur.
If you experience a collision in Ontario, you must report a collision if any of the following conditions apply:
- If the damage to all the vehicles involved is over $2000.
- If someone sustained injuries due to the collision, including a pedestrian.
- If any government vehicles are involved.
- If the driver does not have car insurance.
- If the driver had committed a criminal act like impaired driving, driving without a licence, etc.
- If there was any property damage due to the collision.
If your collision involved any of these factors, you have 24 hours to report the collision to the Collision Reporting Centre (CRC). If you live in a rural community and do not have CRC, you should report to your local police station. If you leave the scene of a collision or fail to report, you could be subject to fines ($400-$2000), licence suspension or jail time. It is also best to inform your insurance company.
If you are in a collision, it is important to take photos of the scene and damage right away. Call 911 if anyone is injured. Exchange information with the other driver or drivers involved, including driver’s licence numbers, names, contact information, insurance company and policy numbers and licence plate numbers. This information will be required when you file your collision report.
Being in a collision can be overwhelming and it is important to remain calm and follow the procedures. Do not create conflict with the other driver, tell your side of the story to the police. Never admit fault or take responsibility or agree to pay for the damage. If you need a tow truck, either call for one yourself or use roadside assistance. Remember to read anything the tow truck driver provides to you and confirm the fee upfront before you agree to the service.
Understanding your rights and obligations in these instances will ensure that the issue can be resolved quickly and efficiently.