Images of smashed vehicles, and broken bones, are just a couple of the things that come to mind when we hear the words, “car accident”. It makes sense that we expect the worst, considering that car crashes claim 90 American lives every single day.
However, not every collision that happens on the road qualifies as a major crash. Instead, minor incidents, or fender benders, take place all the time. If you don’t know the difference, we can help.
Read on to learn the answer to the question of what is a fender bender.
What Is a Fender Bender?
What is a fender bender exactly? Everyone’s definition of a fender bender will vary. However, there are a few common traits you’ll notice most individuals use to describe fender benders.
Here’s a shortlist of fender bender situations:
- An accident that happens at low speed
- A car’s rear-ended gently
- A car’s hit moving out of a parking spot
- A car’s hit moving out of a driveway
- A car’s tapped by another driver
- There’s only minor damage to either vehicle
- No injuries occur
Fender Benders are minor car accidents, and in most cases, they happen while both drivers are going at low speeds. For example, if you’re slowly backing out about parking spot, and somebody taps your vehicle, this could be a fender bender. However, even after a minor car incident, both drivers will still need to deal with the logistics.
If there are any injuries or damage to either vehicle, things can get complicated. Police reports, insurance claims, and trips to the DMV can all become a part of the aftermath of a fender bender.
What Is a Car Crash?
When somebody describes a car crash, they’re usually talking about more serious car accidents. While everyone’s definition of a car crash will also vary, there are a few common descriptors you’ll see the reappearing.
Here’s a shortlist of car crash situations:
- Both drivers are going at high speeds
- Major vehicle damage occurs
- One or more individual has an injury
- Fatalities occur
- Someone was driving under the influence
When a car crash happens, it’s a life-altering experience. Now, debilitating injuries can appear, as well as possible fatalities. Individuals in the car crash will not only need to talk to the police, insurance companies, and the DMV, they may also need a car accident lawyer.
What to Do After a Fender Bender
Whether you’re in a fender bender or a major car accident, it’s important you know the right steps to take following the crash. First, you’ll want to stay calm and make sure you and the other passengers are okay.
Even if you’re only involved in a minor fender bender, it’s completely normal for your adrenaline to race. Your heart may start to go faster, you may feel yourself sweating, and your thoughts may be going at a mile a minute. Take a few deep breaths and try to calm yourself down before you begin assessing yourself for injuries.
After you make sure that you’re not injured, check on every passenger in your vehicle. Pay close attention to your head, legs, neck, and hands for any signs of injury. If you or any of your passengers have injuries, no matter how small, call 911 immediately.
Get the Other Drivers Information
You should always get the other driver’s information when a fender bender occurs. Even if everyone’s okay and the vehicles look fine, you still need to exchange information with the other driver. It’s possible that you have injuries that haven’t surfaced yet, or that there is damage to your cart you can’t see with the naked eye.
Play it safe, and get the other driver’s name, driver’s license information, insurance information, phone number, and address. You should also give your information to the other driver involved.
Finally, never say sorry. Immediately following the accident, if you’re the one who hit the other car, your instinct made it be to apologize. Yes, apologies are nice in everyday life, but there is no place for them at a car accident scene. No matter how small the incident is, never say sorry.
The truth is you don’t know the full facts of the situation. Perhaps the other driver was texting and came to an unexpected stop, causing the fender bender to occur. Let the police report decide who’s at fault, and instead focus on exchanging information.
After you exchange information with the other driver, it’s time to start gathering as much evidence as possible. Go ahead and start taking photos of the accident scene.
Photograph your vehicle position, as well as the position of the other driver’s vehicle. Next, photograph any damage that occurred to either vehicle. Once you have the vehicles fully photographed, begin taking pictures of the street.
Take photos that show the type of street you’re on, the street name, as well as the position of both vehicles together. If you or any of your passengers have injuries, start taking photos of the injuries as well.
Be careful not to move injured individuals, but instead only take photos of the injuries you can see with your naked eye. Next, you’ll need to start taking detailed notes.
Your insurance company is going to be asking you questions you never even considered you’d have to know. They will want to know what time the accident happened, where you were going, where you were coming from, how fast you were going, and what the weather was like.
Getting Back on the Road
What is a fender bender? If handled correctly, it’ll be a minor hiccup in your life. However, if you don’t take the right steps, a fender bender can become a legal and financial nightmare overnight.
We hope that our article will help prepare you if you experience a car accident. For more ways to prepare yourself in the game of life, check out the rest of the site.