What to do After Your First Fender Bender
What to Do if You’ve Been in a Fender Bender
A fender bender is defined as a minor collision between two vehicles. In other words, it’s a minor auto accident where neither vehicles involved get any significant damage. More importantly, it’s an accident where no one got seriously hurt.
Still, an accident is an accident. And if the driver and passengers are wearing their seatbelts like they’re supposed to, most likely, only the car gets slightly damaged by the accident. Specifically, the car’s bumper, or sometimes its fender, is what needs attention. Big Sky Collision Center, your source for the best auto body repairs in Billings, explains what you need to know after a minor collision.
Bumper vs. Fender: What’s the difference?
Fenders and bumpers have the same purpose: to protect your car’s vital components and occupants. Their difference is that they protect different parts of your car. And all this time you thought they were one and the same, but they play very different roles.
Bumpers are attached to the front end and rear end of the vehicle. Bumpers are there to serve as shock absorbers, the vehicle’s first line of defense, so to speak. A bumper cannot protect the driver or passengers from getting hurt, but it can dampen the impact of a collision, and thereby protect parts of the car (like its lights and its engine) from being seriously damaged.
As the vehicle’s crash contact point, bumpers are the most susceptible to damage. So it makes sense that they can be easily replaced, easy enough that the vehicle will run without any problems even while one or both bumpers are still being repaired or replaced.
On the other hand, fenders are typically connected to the bumper; they’re the frames installed over the wheel. Which means what the fenders protect are the vehicle’s wheels.
What should you do when you’re involved in a fender bender?
One of the most important things you need to know about fender benders is this: You don’t need to keep your vehicle in the middle of the road when you’re involved in one.
Remember, an accident can only be classified as a fender bender when there’s no serious damage or injury. Following this logic, there should be no problem driving your car. In fact, it will be better to move your vehicle out of traffic’s way as soon as you can to avoid getting hit by other oncoming vehicles whose drivers might not see you on the road, especially when it’s after daylight or visibility is reduced due to snow, fog, or rain.
Once you’re on a safer spot, usually on the side of the road, you can start further damage assessment and proceed with other needed actions. This includes:
- Turning your hazard lights on, or setting up your warning devices to alert other drivers of your presence.
- Checking for injuries and if there are, calling 911 for help.
- Calling the police to report the accident.
- Looking for eyewitnesses who can help provide relevant information for insurance claiming purposes.
- Making notes and taking of pictures for documentation purposes.
- Exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver.
- Calling your insurance company or agent.
- Having yourself checked out by a doctor to make sure you don’t have any injuries that can later turn into a serious problem because you simply assumed you were fine.
After everything is settled on the scene, you can work with your insurance agent to have the damage to your vehicle repaired. Keep in mind that even though your insurance company may have a “preferred provider” you get to choose which auto body shop you take your vehicle to.
Bring Your Fender Benders to Big Sky Collision
Here at Big Sky Collision, we have one goal: to make sure you leave with a car that meets or exceeds all factory safety standards. We strive to be the best collision repair center in Billings, and we know that our amazing customers make that happen!
Give us a call at 406-259-6328 to schedule a time to bring your car in if you’ve been in a fender bender.