This was not at all the post I was planning to publish today. But, as in the past, I look on my personal experiences as a chance to be a cautionary tale for you, my lovely readers.
Allow me to tell you what transpired today. After having to go to the eye doctor for the third time to get my prescription sorted out, I was driving back to work when CRASH!, a 22-year-old driving a zippy BMW sports coupe pulled out in from of me from behind a car turning left in center lane. He didn’t look to see if there was anyone (namely, me!) in oncoming traffic. So, he sideswiped my beloved Mini Cooper.
No one was hurt (except for my 2009 Mini Cooper, AKA Fat Charlie) and it was really just a fender bender.
Luckily, he pulled over and we exchanged information. This brings me to the point of sharing my story with you (beyond the “Poor baby!” comments which are welcomed).
Since this is the first time I’ve had a car accident in 15 years, I discovered that analog tools come in handy.
The most important items in your car, wallet or handbag are, of course:
- driver’s license
- insurance card
But it is also very advantageous to keep a few other things in your car for emergencies:
- pencil and/or durable pen (I recommend a mechanical pencil and/or a space pen)
I needed to write down insurance information, time, location, etc. so having paper and pen in the car within easy reach helped reduce my stress and let me feel prepared to document what I needed without feeling flustered digging around in my bag or looking under the seat.
Having your cell phone handy is also useful to immediately document not only the damage but also for taking a quick photo of the other driver’s license, insurance card, and the license plate or the other driver’s car. I wrote things down but did manage to transpose some digits in my nervousness.
I did not get a photo of the driver’s car or plates but an eyewitness who stopped did note that the other driver’s plates were expired. UGH!
Be sure, if there are eyewitnesses, that you write down their names and phone numbers should you need them to corroborate events or other details of the events.
For personal comfort, I recommend keeping a few other items in the car as well. While these might not be stationery-related, again, allow me to be your cautionary tale.
- kleenex or other facial tissue
- any emergency medication (i.e. asthma inhaler, epi pen, etc) or document with list of necessary medication/allergies
- granola bar, energy bar, trail mix or other packaged snack (it helps with adrenalin shakes)
- mints (just good thing to have for any occasion but can help with nausea too)
- blanket, wrap or towel (if you’re shaking from adrenalin, an extra blanket or wrap can help warm you or someone else up)
If you like to be fully prepared, there are emergency kits that are available in shops and online that include everything from first aid supplies, jumper cables, reflective vest and flashlight or light sticks. The Always Prepared Premium Roadside Safety Assistance Kit ($39.99) is a good example of a prepared kit.
So, there you have it. Engage your inner Scout and be prepared. And stay safe on the road, okay?
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