Experiencing a fender bender is one of those things that happens to almost anyone who drives. It usually results in limited property damage with no serious injuries. Yes, you can consider a fender bender an accident.
What is a Fender Bender?
The term fender bender is a way to describe a minor accident between two vehicles, which involves minor damage to the vehicles with no serious injuries to the drivers or any passengers. You wonder whether you should even involve the police when such an accident occurs.
Minor accidents usually mean actions like rear-end collisions at low speeds or slight bumps from a preoccupied driver or even a parking lot incident where a slight collision occurs. Despite it being a minor accident, a fender bender needs to be dealt with right away. Here are further explanations of what damage a fender bender can cause and what to do about it when one occurs.
Is a Fender Bender an Accident?
You usually consider a fender bender a minor car accident since it occurs at a low speed. During a fender bender, the involved vehicles sustain the most damage to their fenders. They may require fender repairs.
Fender Bender Accident Examples
- Someone driving stops suddenly, and a hit occurs from the rear
- Someone driving backs out of a parking space and hits the car behind them
- Someone distracted while driving hits a moving or parked car
What to Do In/After a Fender Bender
Even a fender bender can be a jolting experience and unnerving. The first thing to do is move your vehicle to the side of the road and make sure that you and any passengers are free from injuries. You’ll also want to confirm that the other driver and any passengers are safe and uninjured. If there are any injuries because of the accident, call 911 for medical help.
Once everyone involved is safe and secure, call the police. Maybe you think you don’t need to, but you’ll want a report concerning the details of the accident. This gives you the leverage to report the fender bender to the authorities and you get your own copy of the police report.
Also, make sure your vehicle’s doors, hood, and trunk open and close correctly. Lean down and look for any damage underneath your vehicle and look out for leaking fluid and any issues with misalignment.
Another thing of importance is that both parties share their insurance information. You’ll also want to get the other driver’s contact information and other details with their driver’s license, registration, and license plate number. Take pictures of any damage to your car and the other driver’s car. When there are witnesses to the accident, be sure and get their contact information as well.
Contact your vehicle insurance carrier and provide the details of the accident. You can probably upload your pictures from the accident scene. There may be a mobile application that you can use to get evidence to your insurance provider quickly. Make sure your vehicle is drivable before you leave the accident scene. Check for any hidden damage. Also, be sure your brake lights, head and tail lights are working.
Hidden Damages of Fender Benders/What Might Happen During Repairs
Fender benders usually equate to rear-end collisions that happen when a vehicle is moving at a slow speed. The car behind you may have been following too close and a sudden stop results in a damaged bumper. With this kind of accident, you may see hidden damage and damages like dents and scratches. What other damages should you be looking for?
Hidden Damage – This could be damage to a vehicle’s frame or mechanical system. It could also be within the electrical system of a vehicle.
Vehicle Frame – A vehicle’s frame is its mainstay. Even a fender-bender can displace the frame and render your vehicle out of alignment. A damaged frame can cause unique problems.
Alignment Problems – Typical indications of alignment problems can include:
- Steering wheel drifts in one direction
- The steering wheel exhibits shaking or wobbling
- Tires show irregular wear
- The vehicle shakes, vibrates, or is noisy
Faulty Latch Mechanisms – The inability of your trunk, hood, and doors to close properly could be related to damage to your vehicle’s frame. Damage to the seals around the doors or trunk could allow moisture in and cause rust and mold damage to the interior.
Suspension problems – With frame damage, you may see wear on your vehicle’s suspension system, which is what regulates and limits the brunt of road conditions and helps a driver to remain in control of their vehicle. The vehicle will suddenly ride rougher, which shows alignment issues and wear on the shocks, struts, or suspension parts.
Electrical System Damage – With the electrical system in your vehicle, you’re dealing with many wires and sensors that, when affected by a minor fender bender, can cause damage to the system. For example, with a collision affecting the rear-end bumper, even a minor accident can affect the sensors in the bumper.
Bumper sensors monitor things like cruise control, blind-spot viewing, and the overall system of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). To determine if your vehicle has electrical system damage, you’ll probably want to pursue a diagnostics test through an auto body shop near me to eliminate the possibility of damage. There can be damage to other electrical system components, such as brake lights, battery connectivity, airbag deployment, and other parts.
Vehicle Mechanics – Rear-end collisions can cause mechanical damage too. Both all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive and other transmission parts can sustain damage from a rear-end collision. When your vehicle experiences issues with leaking fluids or has problems with shifting or acceleration, your transmission may have damage.
When you have a minor accident or fender bender, you never know what kind of hidden or overt damage you’re dealing with. It’s probably best to take your vehicle to a reputable auto body shop. Elmer’s Auto Body is a tried-and-true family-owned and operated business that has dealt with every kind of vehicle damage. We will assess the issues and give you exceptional service while making it easy, fast, and convenient for you. Call us at (856) 218-0202. Our 70 years of service to the Southern New Jersey area is proof enough of our ability to find the damage and ease your fender bender problems.