Ah, the morning commute. The dreaded morning commute. Yours might include buttery croissants and gourmet coffee, making it a delightful ride full of joy and wonder. Mine is slightly darker. (Not darker in a lack of sunlight sense, though, because that giant fiery ball makes its debut upon the horizon and makes its attempt at blinding me each and every day at approximately 6:45 A.M.) I mean darker in the sense that, in order to keep myself entertained and from inventing creative new expletives, I like to play my own little version of road bingo.
As I condone safe driving, this is a paperless version. But if my road bingo card had squares, it would include some of the following annoyances: awful Nickelback song playing on radio, car with turn signal on for more than a mile, vanity license plate that I am unable to decipher (because I generally rule at this), people who make creepy and awkward eye contact at intersections and, of course, someone who is driving under 55 in the left lane. You know what the free space is, though? ACCIDENTS. FENDER-BENDERS. Because, without fail, I can count on seeing at least a few right in the middle of my commute.
Yes, accidents happen. But if you’re armed with the knowledge of what to do in the event of a minor collision, you’ll save yourself a lot of additional stress by getting all the proper information in a tactful fashion. There will still be those drivers who pass said unbelievably tiny fender-bender and stare like they’ve never seen such a thing before (“so that’s what a broken tail light looks like, eureka!”), but there’s a chance you’ll save yourself and other drivers a bit of A.M. hassle by following a few simple steps.
7 Simple Steps: What to Do After an Accident
- Check yourself (to see if you’ve wrecked yourself). If you or any of your passengers have injuries, alert an ambulance immediately. Do not call an ambulance if you simply need a Band-Aid, though.
- Get moving. Please, for the sake of my own sanity and others’ sanity, move all cars involved out of the road and onto the shoulder or another convenient area. If your car is in no condition to be moved, stand somewhere safe. Seriously, thousands of people are injured or killed this way every year. Be careful.
- Get their digits and other key information. Use a handy-dandy piece of paper or the notepad app on your phone to detail the other driver and/or owner of the vehicle’s name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, license plate number and driver’s license number. The contact information for any witnesses may be helpful, too.
- Be polite. Take those expletives and put them in your back pocket for another occasion, because now is not the time to get heated. Remain calm, avoid arguments and do not admit fault or apologize (even if you are the one who caused the collision). Deep breaths.
- Take a few snapshots. No selfies, please. Use your phone’s camera to document the scene of the crash and the condition of all cars involved, as you wouldn’t want some shady driver to send a fraudulent claim your way post-accident. There are shady people out there, you know.
- Report it. Watcha gonna do when they come for you? The cops, that is. Even if it’s just a little scrape of the fender and the police don’t need to be dispatched to the scene, give them a call to report the details. Don’t forget to obtain the police report number, as it’ll be helpful when filing insurance claims.
- Carry on. No need to sit in your ride sulking by the side of the road. Ensure you have all the information you need, then be cautious as you re-enter the flow of traffic again – especially if you’re on a busy highway. Treat yourself to a fancy, whipped-cream topped coffee or pull those stored expletives back out of your pocket, whichever makes you feel better. Call your auto insurance agent, too.
Unfortunately, there are also the accidents of the not-so-miniscule style. Aside from being a defensive, cautious driver, having a dependable vehicle is one of the only other ways to keep yourself and your precious passengers safe. The all-new 2015 Toyota RAV4 features eight airbags, a suite of six advanced safety systems, Whiplash-Injury-Lessening (WIL) seats and an available integrated backup camera that can lessen the probability of an accident before it happens – and, most importantly, help to prevent life-threatening injuries.
Stay safe out there on the roads of Macon, Jonesboro, Fayetteville, Lithonia and other surrounding Atlanta communities. Besides, you never know when some yahoo jamming to Nickelback might jam into the back of your ride during an exhilarating air guitar solo. Your Atlanta Toyota dealership, Toyota of McDonough, has an incredible 2015 Toyota RAV4 inventory – and, should you need it, a top-notch service department as well.