What should you do if you hit a parked car?
Crowded parking lots can be a driver’s nightmare and are often the scene of frequent hit and run accidents.
Let’s say you reverse your car in a parking lot and accidentally hit a parked vehicle. You inspect the damage to the parked car and notice a few scratches and a dent. The driver of the parked car is nowhere to be seen and there doesn’t appear to be any witnesses, what should you do? Do you leave the scene of the accident, hoping no one saw the incident or should you stay and somehow notify the driver of the parked car?
Hitting a parked car can be a stressful experience. Your ‘fight or flight’ instincts may kick in. You might feel scared and a strong desire to flee the accident scene in fear of the monetary repercussions and insurance implications of an at-fault accident.
To better prepare yourself, here is what you need to know if you’ve hit a parked car:
Let your better judgement prevail and do your best to locate the owner of the parked car. If the driver of the parked car cannot be found, you are obligated by law to leave written notice of the accident. Your notice should be placed in a visible location on the parked car (usually under the windshield wiper) and should include your:
- Full name and address
- Driver’s licence number
- Licence plate number
What happens if you leave the scene of a hit and run accident?
Hitting a parked vehicle and leaving the scene of the accident has serious consequences. Depending on the situation, police can charge the driver of the hit and run under the Criminal Code of Canada for “Failure to Stop at the Scene of the Accident” or “Failure to Remain at the Scene of the Accident” under the Highway Traffic Act.
Penalties include traffic tickets, fines, demerit points, possible licence suspension, imprisonment, and an increase in car insurance rates.
Remember, all accidents must be reported to your insurance company regardless of fault and the damage amount.