When we hear the term “hit and run” we automatically think of a serious collision. But what about when you hit a parked car?
A common example is when you accidentally hit a parked car as you back out of your parking spot. You get out and inspect the damage. Nothing major, just a few scratches and a dent. No witnesses. What should you do?
Many are tempted to leave the scene hoping no one saw the incident. Your ‘fight or flight’ instincts may kick in. You may fear the financial and insurance implications of the accident and feel a strong desire to flee the accident scene.
Here is what you need to know if you hit a parked car
“If you hit something or someone with your vehicle, it’s a collision, period,” says Traffic Services Const. Clint Stibbe in a Globe and Mail interview. “It is best to leave your information — if you don’t, you could be charged.”
You must do your best to locate the owner of the parked car. If you cannot find the driver of the parked car, the law requires you to leave written notice of the accident. Place your notice in a visible location on the parked car (usually under the windshield wiper) and include the following:
- Full name and address
- Driver’s licence number
- Licence plate
Leaving an accident scene may result in penalties including traffic tickets, fines, demerit points, possible licence suspension, imprisonment, and increased car insurance rates.
Remember, all accidents must be reported to your insurance company regardless of fault and the damage amount.
For more information
- If I hit a parked car but there’s no damage, do I have to leave a note? The Globe and Mail
- If you are at fault, ICBC