stop sign on a street

A fender bender, meaning a minor car accident, can damage your vehicle and cause bodily injury. While fender benders tend to be less dangerous and damaging than more serious types of accidents, they’re still stressful and it’s important to be prepared.


Knowing what to do in a fender bender and afterward can help reduce stress and get you back on the road more quickly and safely. Our skilled technicians at Mackin’s Auto Body are at your service. We’re breaking down common examples of fender bender accidents, what to do at the scene, and how to get your car inspected and repaired!


What is a Fender Bender?

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The term “fender bender” is defined by Merriam-Webster as a “minor automobile accident” and by the Cambridge Dictionary as “a road accident in which the vehicles involved are only slightly damaged.”


Fender benders are among the most common types of car accidents. They usually occur at relatively low speeds, and may involve one, two, or more vehicles. While fender benders are classified as minor, they can still cause vehicular damage. 


As the name suggests, the fenders and bumpers of the involved vehicles generally sustain the most damage. Examples of fender-bender accidents include:

  • A driver inadvertently shifts their car into “drive” instead of “reverse” and collides with another vehicle.
  • A driver clips another vehicle while attempting to fit into a small space.
  • One driver rear-ends another after the leading car stops suddenly.
  • A driver collides with another vehicle or object while backing out of a parking space.


What to do After a Fender Bender?

car technician working on a car

Seek Medical Attention if Necessary

It’s a common misconception that only serious accidents cause injuries. Fender benders can result in bodily damage that may be immediately noticeable or lead to chronic pain down the road. Common fender bender injuries include whiplash, concussions, and airbag injuries.


Regardless of the type or severity of the collision, the first things you should do after any car accident are:

  1. Get to safety.
  2. Make sure everyone is okay and receives medical attention if needed.

Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s always a good idea to seek a medical evaluation after an accident.

Assess the Damage

After you’ve verified that all involved parties are safe, it’s time to turn your attention to your vehicle. By inspecting your car after a collision, you can assess the extent of any visible damage, take photos to document the scene for insurance purposes, and determine whether your car is safe to drive after the accident.

Exchange Information

It’s essential to gather relevant information at the scene of a fender bender collision. You should try to obtain the following information from all involved drivers, passengers, and any witnesses:

  • Full names
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Insurance companies and policy numbers
  • Driver’s license info and license plate numbers
  • Makes, models, and colors of vehicles
  • Location, time, and date of the accident

Report to Authorities and Insurance

Reporting a fender bender, meaning notifying law enforcement and your insurance provider, can help protect your interests and get your car repaired more quickly. If possible, try to call your insurance agent from the scene. This allows them to guide you through the process of gathering information and prepare you for the claims process.


Dealing with claims can be frustrating and stressful. At Mackin’s Auto Body, we do everything we can to simplify the insurance claims process. We can even work directly with your insurance provider to take the stress off you after a fender bender or other accident.

What’s Next After a Fender Bender?

Knowing what to do in a fender bender can help protect your health, car, and financial interests. But the steps you take in the following days and weeks can be equally important.

Get a Professional Collision Inspection

While some fender bender damage may be visible in a DIY inspection, hidden collision damage is all too common. At Mackin’s, we will perform a thorough inspection to assess the frame damage and any other issues that may have resulted from the collision.

Get Repairs Done at a Reputable Body Shop

In general, fender and bumper damage are the most common types of issues that occur after a fender bender or minor accident. At Mackin’s, our collision repair services include comprehensive bumper and fender repairs and replacements as well as dent removal and auto painting.


Car accidents are stressful whether they’re minor or not. We know that dealing with insurance claims and going without your car after a collision is frustrating. We’re here to make the repair process as smooth, quick, and convenient as possible.


Get Your Car Fixed After a Fender Bender at Portland’s Most Trusted Auto Body Repair Shop!

mackins collision repair specialist

At Mackin’s Auto Body, we provide comprehensive accident resources, top-of-the-line repairs, and old-fashioned customer service to our community in the greater Portland and SW Washington area. 


No one wants to be involved in a car crash, even a minor one. If you’ve recently been in a fender bender and you’re looking for a trustworthy place to get your car inspected and repaired, we’ve got you covered. We can even work directly with your insurance provider so you don’t have to.


Have questions or concerns? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help you and your car get back on the road safely and smoothly.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts is the Director of Operations at Mackin’s Auto Body, where he has been making an impact since 2018. With a career in collision repair that started in 1999, Chris brings a wealth of experience and dedication to his role. Before stepping into his current position, he served as the Assistant Operations Manager at Mackin’s Auto Body from 2013 to 2017. Chris holds a BA from Northwest Nazarene University. When he’s not ensuring everything runs smoothly at Mackin’s, you can find him skiing down snowy slopes, wake surfing on sunny days, or cheering on his daughter at her soccer games.