Well it’s taken a while to write this post.  Why has it taken a while you ask?  Well I think I’ve been subconsciously avoiding it knowing that I have to admit my faults.   I’ve had my driver’s license since I was sixteen years old.  Aside from a “YAY it’s college vacation, let’s get out of here” fender bender, I’ve been a cautious driver.  In fact, I’ve been known to go too slow according my husband, but he’s wrong.

So for 23 years I’ve been accident free.  Until I rear ended someone this May.  I was devastated.

The Incident

I was making my merry way up Hespeler Road in Cambridge where I was going to the local bank to deposit my pay.  I was stopped at a red light and from what I can remember (the only thing) is seeing the cars move forward as the light turned green.  All of a sudden, I hit the brake as fast I could but that didn’t stop my hood from meeting the rear wheel on the back of the SUV in front of me.

ARG!!  Absolutely horror.

Car-Accident-Golden-Triangle-CollisionThe Discussion

The lady immediately indicated to make a left and turn into a plaza.  Upon getting out of the car, I was a blubbering idiot.  I asked her if she was ok and we went to look at her car.  Not a mark.   She then told me that she just found out she was pregnant.  I nearly sank through the pavement.

Good Lord, what did I do? I touched her stomach and said “Oh my GOD, are you having any pains?”

She reassured me that I didn’t hit her hard, in fact, she barely felt it and her seatbelt didn’t flinch.  Thank God….by that time I was a shaking blubbering mess.

The OPP officer

There was an OPP officer who turned into the plaza as well.   After assessing the OMG damage on my vehicle, I beckoned him over.  He wasn’t amused as he was heading into Wimpy’s Diner to get some chow.

He informed me that this wasn’t an OPP issue but if we wanted to, we could call the local police if the damage was greater than a $1,000 or go to the Collision Reporting Centre.

Not Knowing How to Proceed

The girl and I look at each other and I asked her if it looked like over $1,000.  I don’t know…I just drive the thing.  So since she was so excited to tell her news, I simply took her name and number down.  She took my information as well.  No insurance number…nothing.

The Flip Out

Told my husband, he flipped out like a typical car lover, checked the damage and told me to not open the hood and go to the reporting centre in the morning.    Enough said.  He got over it and he’s back to playing video games again.

Big Mistake

I went to the collision reporting centre the next day and all fared well.   The police officer informed me that I should have received more information about the other driver’s insurance.

I tweeted about my mishap and Suzanne from Young Drivers of Canada explained to me that they have a Collision Checklist that they give the kids on the first day of in-class lessons.  Luckily, I met up with Suzanne at the Women’s Biz Network Conference the next week and she gave it to me.

What to do when you have an accident

  1. Assess the scene
  2. Call provincial or local police immediately to report any collision resulting in injury to any person or motor vehicle damage.
  3. If an ambulance and/or physician is required, be clear this is for emergency treatment only.
  4. Offer Assistance, give first air to the injured.
  6. Get names of witnesses

Oh so apologizing profusely was out of the question:0

Furthermore, the information you should document before leaving the scene is quite extensive:

  • Name of other driver
  • Address and Contact info
  • Make, Model, and Year of the vehicle
  • Insurance company and policy number
  • Number of passengers and number injured

In this case, thankfully there were no injured parties.

Young Drivers’ Advance Collision Avoidance Course

Suzanne also recommended that I take the Advance Collision Avoidance Course that is provided by Young Drivers of Canada.

This advanced program focuses on developing proactive and reactive driving habits with emphasis onCollisionfree!™  driving, highway and freeway driving techniques, and emergency maneuvers.  Many companies use this course for their employees whose position required them to be on the road.

I plan on doing this in September!  See sometimes it’s not only our children who requires a little refresher now and then!

All is well that ends well

My insurance company was great!! I was so pleased to have a sympathetic representative to accelerate getting my car into a local collision centre to get it fixed.

I knew a lot about Golden Triangle Collision in Cambridge, Ontario and my insurance company highly recommended them as well.  They provided fabulous customer service, timely updates, and a bang up job on the front end of my “banged up” vehicle.  My husbands says that often, when having a paint job on a portion of your vehicle, you can clearly see the divide from the new and old paint.  I wouldn’t know…I just drive the thing.

I have a very “finicky” neighbor who did a full assessment of my vehicle as well and was wowed by the results.  Both my husband and neighbour agreed that this was the place to take your vehicle for body work.

Check out these accident photos. I am thankful to have Young Drivers, Aviva Insurance, and Golden Triangle Collision for the advice and support during this horrific experience.

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