I Hit a Parked Car: Now What?

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What Should i do if I Hit a Parked Car in San Diego, CA

It’s probably one of your biggest fears. You’re stuck in the city and late for an appointment. You decide to cram your car into a space that looks like it may be too small for your vehicle. It seems like it’s worth a try for the time savings alone. The alternative is wading through another hour of traffic and missing an important appointment you’ve had scheduled for months. And then it happens—you hit a parked car. The experienced professionals from Altra Insurance, a trusted provider of auto insurance in San Diego, offer this advice about what you need to do if this situation occurs.

Count Your Blessings

Things could be a lot worse. Accidents happen. Anyone can overestimate the gap between vehicles. That’s one reason newer vehicles are equipped with back-up cameras. And people are in more of a rush than ever as overpopulation and economics make it harder to keep up in the rat race.

Distance Yourself from the Impacted Vehicle

The next step is to slowly reverse the last move you made. You don’t want to get out of your vehicle until you’ve put enough space between your vehicle and the parked car, because your vehicle could move even when it’s put in park. A parked vehicle is essentially in neutral. The parking pawl (a component in an automatic transmission that keeps the vehicle from moving when it’s in park) is activated by the park shifter mechanism and holds the vehicle in a locked gear. However, it’s very common for vehicles to move slightly when this is activated. If you simply put your vehicle in park, the weight of the car and gravity can increase the damage incurred by both vehicles.

Assess the Damage

Don’t be afraid to double-park and turn your hazard lights on. Make sure your vehicle is turned off. Don’t leave the scene of the accident. Even if you go searching around the block for a place to park, the police can charge you with a hit-and-run. Ensure your vehicle is safe to drive, the tires aren’t rubbing against the fenders, and no fluids are leaking from the vehicle. If you see fluids leaking from your vehicle, you can’t drive it. It could overheat and burn out the bearings or blow the head gasket. Calling a tow truck to remove your vehicle from the scene is all you can do. If a clearing opens up, you may be able to move the vehicle closer to the curb with assistance and care. 

Leave Your Contact Information

You can leave the scene of the accident if you leave your name, address, phone number, and insurance information securely on the other vehicle. If the weather is bad, put the paper inside a plastic bag and tie it in a knot to keep out moisture. Take a picture of the packet on the other driver’s windshield as evidence that you complied with the requirements. You should also write down the other vehicle’s license plate number or take a photo for your own records.

The chance of hitting a parked car is just one reason it’s crucial to have car insurance. San Diego drivers who are searching for reliable, affordable auto insurance can rely on the experienced team at Altra Insurance Services. We provide a variety of high-quality insurance products, from auto coverage to homeowners and business insurance. Call one of our friendly agents today at 619-474-6666 to find out how you can get high-quality insurance at a reasonable price. 

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