Thursday, May 30, 2013

Northwest Drivers Who Hit Parked Cars Don't Always Leave Notes

Many motorists don't leave proper contact information.
A surprising PEMCO Insurance poll found that motorists in Oregon are worse than Washington drivers when it comes to leaving contact information after hitting an unoccupied car. Almost half (47%) of Portland drivers surveyed admitted to leaving the scene without leaving any contact information!

Seattle motorists, on the other hand, said they left notes two-thirds (67%) of the time when they were responsible for damage to a parked car.

In addition to hitting parked cars and driving away without leaving a note, most drivers in both states responded that they've been involved in an accident at least once, and men are significantly more likely than women to be involved in an accident, no matter who was at fault. The poll also found that 62% of Washington men admitted to be at fault in an accident, whereas 51% of women admitted to being to blame.

For those involved in an accident, Washington motorists again proved to be more proactive. PEMCO's poll revealed that 56% of Washington drivers called 911 following the accident, while only 39% of Oregon drivers did.

While it's important to take photos of the accident scene to document the situation, only one-quarter of drivers say they did. Younger drivers were much more likely to take pictures of the collision than older drivers. Nearly half (49%) of Washington drivers under 35 took the photos, while 52% of young Portland drivers did.

Drivers in Portland must immediately notify law enforcement of the accident if damages total more than $1,500, according to Oregon’s Department of Motor Vehicles. In Washington, drivers must notify the Washington State Patrol if vehicle damage exceeds $700 – but drivers have up to three days to file a report.

Proper things to do if you are involved in an accident:
• Stop and determine if anyone is injured. If needed, call 911 for help.
• If it can be done safely, move your vehicle to the side of the road. 

• Exchange contact and insurance information, but don’t discuss responsibility for the accident.
• Take photos of the damage.
• Report the accident to the local police.