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What to do (and not to do) in the event of an auto accident.

Whether it’s January or July, the risk for an accident is always present when we have to hit the roads.

If you happen to be involved in a crash, here’s what you should do, and not do.




  • Remain calm– Hopefully, you are uninjured and able to get out of your vehicle to start the process of documenting the accident. In any case, it is important that you remain calm and focused on the next steps.
  • Call 911– If anyone is injured or damage to vehicles or other property appears to be significant, call 911 and follow the dispatcher’s instructions. If no one is injured and damage seems minor, you will likely be instructed to report to a Collision Reporting Centre.
  • Document every detail– Get everyone’s info. This includes the name, address, phone number, license plate, driver’s license number and insurance information of the driver, and also the names and contact info of all passengers and witnesses.
  • Fill out an accident worksheet– You should keep an accident worksheet in your glove box so that you don’t forget to write down important details. (If you don’t have a hard copy with you, you can reference an online worksheet provided by FSCO.)
  • Photograph the scene– Use your phone or digital camera to document the scene from several angles, ideally before the vehicles are moved off the road. These photos could prove invaluable to you and your insurance company during the claims process.
  • Move your vehicle– If your vehicle can still be driven, move it out of the roadway. Otherwise, turn on your hazard lights and set up cones, warning triangles or flares if you have them.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company– You should do this as soon as possible. If you’re deemed not at fault, your insurance rate won’t go up, so there is no sense in delaying your claim.

Do not…

  • Keep on driving– This one’s obvious, but in case you didn’t know, you may be subject to prosecution if you fail to stop at the scene of the accident.
  • Apologize or take the blame– Apologizing to the other motorist may come back to bite you when fault is assigned. Sure, a little compassion never hurt anyone, but try to resist the admirably Canadian urge to say “sorry”.
  • Argue with the other motorist(s) involved– What’s done is done and arguing will not accomplish anything.
  • Try to negotiate– Unless the damage to all property is negligible, don’t try to keep the accident off the books by offering to settle in cash. For one, what looks like relatively minor damage is almost certainly a lot more expensive than you think. (I once learnt of someone who dented a rental Buick’s rear plastic bumper – that was a $1,200 repair and paint job.)
  • Move someone who’s injured– In the unfortunate event that someone is injured, let the emergency services deal with them. Without extensive medical training, you only risk making things worse.

Remember to stay calm throughout this ordeal. The key is to document as much of the accident as you can to simplify the reporting and claims process.

Road and Pedestrian Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility

driver and a policemanNice weather means the streets and sidewalks always see a heavier increase in foot traffic. Whether you’re walking to a local store to grab an ice cream, do some shopping or taking your dog for a walk, it’s important to keep in mind your safety as a pedestrian.

Who is the most vulnerable pedestrian?

The Ministry of Transportation notes that one in five fatalities on Ontario roads are pedestrians. Seniors are amongst the most vulnerable group of pedestrians, with individuals aged 60 or over being more than twice as likely to be killed than the general population.

Most pedestrian fatalities occur in densely populated areas. Last year, 43 pedestrians lost their lives, representing approximately 55% of all traffic fatalities in the City of Toronto.. To date (May 2017), 50% of the pedestrian fatalities have involved senior aged pedestrians.

Police Constable Giancarlo Marrelli of Toronto Police, Traffic Services advises: “Road safety is a shared responsibility. It’s important for everyone who uses our roadways – motorists and pedestrians alike – to be informed and take responsibility to ensure safety for all, including senior pedestrians who are unfortunately over-represented in our fatalities.”

Road and pedestrian safety is everyone’s responsibility. Motorists must look out for pedestrians and pedestrians need to be cautious on and off the roadway.

Police Constable Marrelli has advice for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists.

For pedestrians

  • Always be aware of your surroundings, avoid distractions and be alert while crossing the street.
  • Follow signals and cross at designated locations or crosswalks.
  • Cross on a fresh light and, at large intersections, you may use the centre median if you are unable to complete your cross before the light changes.
  • Stop, look and listen – ensure all traffic has come to a complete stop before crossing the road.
  • Make eye contact with motorists who want to turn – never assume that drivers can see you or know your intentions.
  • Wear reflective clothing or accessories at night to make yourself more visible.

For drivers and cyclists

  • Always look for pedestrians crossing the road at intersections.
  • Be aware of blind spots when making your turns at intersections.
  • Avoid distractions inside and outside of your vehicle.
  • Watch your speed in school zones and residential areas and be prepared for the unexpected.
  • Be cautious around stopped transit vehicles and be courteous to vulnerable pedestrians.
  • Communication (eye contact, indicate turns, etc.) between all road users is important to keep everyone safe.



Out of school partying for teenagers

Generation after generation of teenagers have been lectured by everyone from police and school officials to family and friends about the consequences associated with drinking alcohol. Sometimes the words sink in , however, often they do not.

Teenagers love summer for the weather and the absence of school. They suddenly have a large amount of time on their hands , a lot of that time can be used to get into trouble.This is why the amount of car crashes with a young person involved increases during the summer. As many as one in five teen drivers in fatal car crashes had alcohol in their system, directly linking it to teen drinking.

The spike of teen drinking and driving could be the result of many things. School is out so essentially everyone has a high level of excitement making it the best time to celebrate with teen drinking. There is also less supervision . Parents can’t just stop working because kids get out of school which means a teenager is probably hanging around at home or causing mayhem with their friends somewhere else. This allows more leeway for teen drinking. Maybe your son or daughter go to his or her friend’s house, but the parents are also gone. They can go anywhere, do anything – including teen drinking. Teenagers packed into a car to go somewhere. There is loud music making it even louder. This is a perfect recipe for a car crash. Passengers being in a car with a teen driver increases that teen’s risk of getting into a fatal car crash. Texting and driving is bad, but passengers can be even worse.

Young people who binge drink are especially at risk. This is because they are less familiar with the effects of alcohol and are more likely to do something impulsive or dangerous. Binge drinking is also more common among young people. When you binge drink, your risk of many safety and health problems increase. Alcohol decreases a person’s ability to drive a motor vehicle safely . The more you drink, the greater the effect. Drinking fogs thinking and erodes judgement. When you combine alcohol with teenagers natural risk taking and desire to impress their friends, dangerous things happen.
Underage drinking poses many other legal, academic and career risks to your teen and more problems for your family and community.

When it comes to teen drinking, parents would be wise not to look the other way. The consequences from drunk driving accidents to date rape and violent crime make it clear that teen drinking is much more than just harmless youthful experimentation.
Make sure your teen understands that there will be consequences.


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