Debunking Common Misconceptions About Fender Benders

Minor accidents can happen anytime when you’re behind the wheel. One of the most common is a fender bender, with some 1.7 million rear-end collisions reported on U.S. roads annually. Knowing what to do might be confusing if you’ve never been in the situation.

In this article, we’ll talk about the common misconceptions about this kind of minor accident and what to do when you find yourself in one.

Common Misconceptions About Fender Benders

What is a fender bender in the first place? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it is a road accident where vehicles are only slightly damaged. In many cases, minimal or no damage exists.

So what do you do if you caused one? The answer could be more straightforward. That is why you need to clarify a few things in terms of whether or not you need to report it. 

In Nevada, for example, you do not need to report a fender bender if the accident didn’t cause any physical damage to another person or their property.

Let’s debunk some of the most common misconceptions about fender benders so you can better understand the necessary steps to take should it happen to you.

Misconception #1: I don’t need to report it if there’s no damage done.

As mentioned above, there’s no need to report in Nevada if no damage occurred to another person or property. You are only required to report that the crash caused some harm or injury and that the cost exceeds $750. However, different states have different laws.

For example, in California, you need to report the collision if the cost of the damage or injury exceeds $1,000. In other states, the damage should be at least $500.

However, you need to report the incident to your insurance provider, whether or not you make a claim. It would be best if you did this to protect yourself. If the other driver claims any unnoticed damage or injuries that may appear later on, you may encounter some problems. If you didn’t report the fender bender, your insurance may not cover the costs since you failed to report the incident.

Misconception #2: Fender benders are entirely safe.

Minor collisions may seem like nothing, and initial impact may not always result in injury. However, even the slightest crash can cause injuries to yourself and the other driver. Some of the most common include whiplash, concussion, and airbag injuries.

Even if you don’t feel any pain right after the incident, you may suffer from the effects of whiplash, such as stiff neck, neck pain, shoulder pains, headaches, and hidden damage to the brain.

Misconception #3: I don’t need to report it if the other driver agrees not to.

If you and the other driver agree not to call the authorities after the collision, it’s still crucial that you report it. Any damage or injury resulting in damages must be reported as long as it falls within your state’s laws and requirements. As stated above, reporting the incident to your insurance company is essential.

What to Do After a Fender-Bender

If you find yourself in a fender bender, don’t panic. Here are the things you need to do:

 1. Check If the People Are Okay

The first thing you need to do is to check if no one is hurt, including people in the other car. If everyone’s okay, proceed to number 2. If someone is injured, call 911.

2. Assess Damage

You then need to assess if there is any damage to both vehicles. If it’s minor and does not exceed your state’s required damage or injury cost, there’s no need to call the police.

3. Notify Authorities If Needed

If there’s severe damage and injury, you need to call 911.

4. Exchange Information

Exchange contact information with the other party to arrange claims for damages and injuries.

5. Document the Scene

Take pictures and videos to document the scene. Talk to witnesses and exchange information so the police can contact them if necessary. These can be used as evidence if you decide to sue or the other party sues you due to the accident.

6. Notify Your Insurance Company

Make sure to notify your insurance company no matter how minor or severe the accident is.

These are the common misconceptions about fender benders and what to do when you experience one. You must also brush up on local laws to ensure that your rights are protected should a minor accident happen.