A Terrible Case of the Mondays

Mini Cooper accident

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.

Mini Cooper accident

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:

  • notepad
  • 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.

Mini Cooper accident

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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12 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Ugggggghhh! Poor you! And Poor Fat Charlie! It may amuse you to know we also had a Fat Charlie in our family, but he was a large, dopey, and lovable tuxedo cat. I hope you are all ok and are doing something comforting involving fuzzy blankets and terrible Hallmark Christmas movies.

  2. You gave some great advice. Car accidents ruin the day. I would add water to the list. I think I’ll put a Field Notes notebook in my car after reading your advice.

    I hope you can get Fat Charlie fixed to your satisfaction. Insurance isn’t what it used to be. The last accident I was in (man ran red light and t-boned the car right at my driver’s door), it ended up going through the other driver’s insurance to get enough money for the damage to be fixed.

    I hate to admit it, but Facebook is an effective way to get the attention of Insurers (and other entities). I had to quit Facebook, but a family member still uses it, so that’s how we got the other person’s insurance involved.

    Glad you are ok, and it wasn’t worse.

  3. Ohmygosh, how awful! And right before the holidays, too. Relieved to hear you weren’t hurt. Thank you for the cautionary tale — all good tips.

  4. Oh no, Ana! I am so sorry this happened to you. It takes a couple of days to calm down after an event like this. I hope you and Fat Charlie are back to normal soon. xo

  5. So glad you are OK. Collision repair folks can work wonders. A friend of mine pointed out to me that putting a fountain pen to paper can be a zen like experience. So keep writing. As Valerie said, things will return to normal. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Atlanta pen show in the Spring. Take care.

  6. As always, Ana another well written piece. It just so happens that me and my friend just had a similar situation last month while returning home from a road trip. In our case, however, the 2019 Ford Expedition that he was driving was a rental. And just like with you, the main thing to take away from all of this is that no one was hurt. Thank God.

    I really enjoy all of your posts and appreciate all the time and hard work that you put into this publication and do for the pen community. I don’t get the chance to express this to you enough.
    Best Wishes,

  7. You poor dear. And poor Fat Charlie. Fret not. Fat Charlie can be made right. And he still wags his tail pipe when he sees you. He lives in the moment. Just give his dash board a pat the next time you go for a ride. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself, hmm?

  8. You take care. you had precious cargo in the mini motorized shoe box. A hatchet, pry bar, hammer can also help, and not just for chastising the idiot that hit you, they can pull bent fenders do the fender is not digging into the tire, at night they can be used to realign headlights so you are not mistaken for someone hunting UFOs or such
    Take Care of YOU

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