Single Car Accident Insurance Claim

Tips for Avoiding a Single Car Accident

Most car accidents are scary accidents, and single car accidents are no exception. Many single car accidents involve bad weather conditions or possibly swerving to miss an animal. After a single-car accident, often the driver does not feel at fault. Nothing could be done to avoid the accident. Well, according to insurance companies unless it was a flying object which damaged your vehicle, you are at fault.

Collision and comprehensive insurance both cover your car. However, collision insurance covers car accidents, even if it's just a one car accident, whereas comprehensive insurance covers events that are deemed out of the driver's control.

Here are a few things that can cause single car accidents, plus tips to avoid them.

Distracted Driving

Distracted mom drives minivan
William Howard / Getty Images

Distracted driving is a growing concern for most drivers. Drivers have been multitasking while driving since the first autos hit the road. However, more distractions are available today than ever before. Smartphones, GPS, and other technology all take the driver's attention away from what is important, the road. If you are distracted and run off the road into a ditch, damage can be done to the undercarriage of your vehicle. Once again, even if you are not ticketed and file a single car accident, the claim will be considered an at-fault accident.

If you want to file a claim on your car insurance, you need collision coverage listed on your vehicle at the time of the accident.

Tips to Avoid Accident

  • Shut your phone off
  • Minimize multi-tasking

Slick Road Conditions

Car Overturned in Snow
Gunter Marx Photography / Getty Images

Slick road conditions are probably the number one cause of single car accidents. Even when most of the roadways are clear, black ice can be undetected by drivers potentially causing major accidents. Hitting a guard rail, snow bank, or tree would all be considered at-fault accidents even if no ticket is issued by police. Filing a claim will notify the insurance company of the single-car accident which will add points to your insurance record.

Collision coverage is required for filing this type of claim. Plan on paying your deductible in order to get your vehicle repaired. Vanishing deductible and accident forgiveness would be two helpful coverages.

Tips to Avoid Accident

  • Stay home when road conditions are unfavorable
  • Coast to a slower speed instead of slamming on the break
  • Leave plenty of distance between your car and everything else on the road to give yourself plenty of stopping distance

Sun Glare

Inner City Road in Motion
Aaron Foster / Getty Images

Sun glare can cause problems when driving, especially at dawn and dusk. Even if the sun is blinding you, you are responsible for your vehicle at all times. Blaming the sun is not going to protect against an at-fault accident if you damage your vehicle while driving.

You are probably seeing a trend here; collision coverage is required to have your car insurance help with repairs.

Tips to Avoid Accident

  • Use a sun visor
  • Always have sunglasses

Pot Holes

Getty Images/Mike Clarke

Potholes are a huge nuisance to drivers, particularly in the northern states. Hitting a pothole is considered a single car accident which would place the driver at fault. Many drivers feel not at fault especially when pot holes can be unavoidable on narrow roads. Insurance companies cannot be responsible for repairing vehicles damaged by potholes because they are too prevalent and they are often avoidable. Many new vehicle warranties will cover tires, but if a claim is filed on your auto insurance, it will be considered at fault.

Filing an at-fault claim means you pay your collision deductible and your rates will more than likely be going up at your renewal. The rate increase could last as long as three years.

Tips to Avoid Accident

  • Cautiously swerve around pothole
  • Drive slowly over pothole
  • Be alert

Swerving to Miss an Animal

Young woman crouching by car crash by road
Marcelo Santos / Getty Images

Swerving to miss an animal is often a natural reaction. However, it is also extremely dangerous. Nobody wants to hit an animal above all someone's pet intentionally, but swerving should not be a solution to the problem because it could potentially create larger problems. Unfortunately for the animal, it is safer for the driver and passengers to hit the animal versus swerving into oncoming traffic, hitting a ditch and rolling, or hitting a light pole.

A collision with an animal is considered a comprehensive claim. But, swerving to miss a deer and hitting a ditch or tree would be considered an at-fault collision. Swerving and getting into an accident has a much more expensive result and can be extremely dangerous for the driver and passengers in the car.

Tips to Avoid Accident

  • Hit the animal
  • Be alert
  • Drive slowly through high deer populated areas

Flying Objects

Tire Skid Marks and Tire Retread
Car Culture, Inc. / Getty Images

Flying objects hitting a vehicle technically could be considered a single car accident, but it is the one time it would not be considered an at-fault accident. Rocks hitting your windshield, or a tree branch falling on your vehicle while driving are considered comprehensive claims. Comprehensive claims are typically not treated as severely by insurance companies as at-fault accidents.

Tip to Avoid Accident

  • Usually, flying objects hit so suddenly nothing can be done, just keep control of your vehicle.

It is the driver's responsibility to have control of the vehicle at all times which includes poor weather conditions. Even if a police officer comes to the scene of a single-car accident and opts to not give you a ticket, the insurance company will find you at-fault if a claim is filed. If a claim is not filed, then the insurance company will never be notified of the accident, that is unless you have caused damage to someone else's property.