What to Do When a Car Accident Occurs in Canada 2024


 What to Do When a Car Accident Occurs?

Hello everyone, continuing our series on general insurance knowledge, today we will introduce the topic of what to do when a car accident occurs. This article outlines the basic steps to follow when a car accident happens on the road. There are many different scenarios and ways to handle them, but below are the most common situations and the necessary steps to take, in order:

1. Stop Your Car Immediately and Check for Injuries

If someone is injured, do not move the victim and call 911 for guidance.

  • Note: Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. Learn more here.

what to do when a car accident occurs


2. If Safe, Exit the Vehicle and Document the Scene

Take pictures or videos of the entire scene and the damages. Record as much information as possible, including:

  • Date and time, location, weather conditions, road conditions, estimated speed, and accident description.
  • Information about the other driver: name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, car make and color, owner’s name, VIN, insurance company name, and policy validity.
  • Note: Taking photos of the driver’s license, ownership card, and insurance card (pink slip) will provide most of the above information.
  • Names of passengers, their seating positions, and witnesses’ names, addresses, and phone numbers (if any).
  • Name and badge number of the police officer handling the accident, their department, and phone number.
  • Name of the tow company and driver, tow truck number, phone number, and tow destination address.
  • Note: You can download the necessary information template from the link below to print and keep in your car: FSRA Template.

3. Move Your Car to the Side of the Road

If you cannot move the car when a car accident occurs, turn on the emergency blinkers or use any available warning signs.

4. Call 911 in the Following Cases:

  • Someone is injured.
  • Total property damage is estimated to exceed $2,000.
  • You suspect the other driver is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. For more details on handling such situations, visit AAA’s guide.

what to do when a car accident occurs


5. In Restricted Towing Zones and Need Roadside Assistance:

  • Call 911 if it’s an emergency or if your car is stuck in a traffic lane and cannot be moved.
  • Call 511 if your car is safely on the roadside and needs towing when a car accident occurs.
  • Note: Restricted towing zones are usually provincial highways. Only registered towing companies are allowed to operate in these areas. However, if you are a member of an approved roadside assistance provider and your vehicle weighs less than 4,500 kgs, you can call them instead of 511. For more information, refer to CNET’s towing guide.

6. Call the “Collision Reporting Center” Instead of 911 in the Following Cases:

  • No one is injured.
  • Total property damage does not exceed $2,000.
  • Note:
    • Google “collision reporting centre near me” for contact information. Call or visit the center as soon as possible within 24 hours of the accident.
    • If the damage is minor, both parties can go to the center together to file a report quickly. Remember to take pictures of the scene before leaving. This documentation is crucial for the insurance company to determine fault and compensate you.

what to do when a car accident occurs

7. Call Your Insurance Company

Immediately call the insurance company’s claim center when a car accident occurs, using the phone number on the back of your pink insurance slip to report the incident and follow the instructions from the claim representative.


Preparation is essential when unexpected situations occur. Besides the basic knowledge outlined above, always keep the necessary documents, a phone with a camera and data access, a pen and paper, and consider having a first aid kit, flashlight, water, some dry food, and warm clothing in your car for emergencies.


By staying prepared and following these steps, you can handle car accidents more efficiently and ensure your safety and that of others involved. For more detailed information, refer to trusted sources such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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