Six Things You Need to Do Before a Car Accident
Wait, what? But how do I know when that’s going to happen? You don’t. Being in a car accident isn’t something you think about until it’s too late, but as the Boy Scouts say—Be Prepared. With a plan and some knowledge you will be far better prepared to deal with the task of getting your vehicle repaired as that should be a seamless process. With that out of the way you can deal with the injuries, lawyers and police.
First thing you need to know is "That You Get to Choose your Body Shop - Not the Insurance Company!". Insurance companies will most always try to steer you to a Body Shop that benefits them and not you. All Body Shops are not the same!
1) Assemble an emergency kit and keep it in your trunk. Just a few essentials will make a big difference in the chaos of an accident scene:
- Flashlight with batteries you check every time you change the clock in your car.
- Basic first aid kit with bandages, gauze, and antiseptic. Do not attempt to treat large wounds. Wait for the ambulance—they’re the experts.
- Disposable camera. Your cell phone may take pictures, but they may not be high quality.
- Gallon of water, which can be used anytime for an overheated radiator or to flush wounds after an accident.
2) Print two copies of an accident investigation form to keep in your car—one for you and one for the other driver. I prepared a form you can fill out with information you and your insurance company will need. Download the form here: accident report.pdf
3) Choose an auto body repair shop before an accident. In the confusion at an accident scene, it will mean one less decision you have to make on the spot. Call and speak to the manager and ask to be given a brief tour of the facility. You will be able to see work-in-progress repairs and the finished products. The Body Shop Manager at Bob Bell Nissan Kia is John Ryder. Call him at (410) 288-7195 to ask any questions or schedule an appointment.
4) Choose a reputable towing service recommended by your body shop. Bob Bell uses Phil Blythe Towing They offer 24 hour service in all of Baltimore County and can be reached at (410) 686-7494. Bob Bell will add the tow charge to your total invoice when repairs are made.
5) Have an emergency paperwork envelope in your glove box:
- vehicle registration card
- auto insurance card
- copy of your health insurance card
- medical information about allergies, current medications, and medical conditions
- list of emergency contacts and their phone numbers
- blank accident investigation forms (from #2 above)
- contact information for your towing service and body shop
- pen or pencil and a pad or paper
6) Do not keep unsecured objects in the back seat or rear of your vehicle. They can become missiles in the event of an accident, flying forward, striking you or passengers, and potentially breaking the windshield. If you are unable to put objects in the trunk, at least store them behind or under the front seats.