It’s that time of year again where we plan our day trips, or long weekends for fun and adventure. So in today’s blog, we’ll look at a few areas that need to be addressed to stay safe as we’re out and about.
Keeping the Car Happy
Get your car serviced regularly, and keep receipts. Have a mechanic check your brakes and tires when they change your oil. Some dealerships will do brake inspections for free, and have coupons for oil changes.
If your car starts to act funny, or seems to burn through oil or gas more quickly, bring it in for a check-up. You want to be sure your vehicle won’t strand you in the middle of nowhere.
What to Keep In The Car At All Times
There are certain things you should always have in your car no matter what.
- Solar cell phone charger
- Spare oil
- Pad of paper and pencil
- Proof of Insurance
- Jumper cable
- First aid kit
- Mylar space blanket
- Spare tire, jack, and lug wrench
- Tire sealant like Fix-A-Flat
- Tire pressure guague
- Your car’s manual
- Duct tape and WD-40 (it can fix a world of problems)
- Matches or lighter
- Paper towels
- Umbrella (just remember to put it back)
- Cheap sunglasses
- And, reusable grocery bags
What to Do In An Accident
This is why you have the paper and pencil. You can write down the other person’s driver’s license number, their address, phone number, and insurance carrier information. Then use your cell phone to take pictures of everything.
If you can get to the side of the road safely, then do so. The people who are stuck behind you will appreciate it. If you can’t move the car, use your flares to help guide traffic around the accident with a safety buffer zone.
Keep it simple and get as much information as you can as quickly as you can. When you get home, call your insurance agent and let them know what happened. Finally, leave it to the insurance companies to sort out. Do some meditation or relaxation, because having an auto accident is traumatic.
If someone is injured, use the Mylar space blanket to keep them warm while calling for help. Unfortunately, if you try and help too much, you could get sued, so be careful.
Also, call the police if you can to get a report taken. It may seem minor, but it could help in the long run. That’s also why you want to take as many pictures as you can. Sometimes, the other party will claim damage to their car that didn’t happen, and you will want proof.
Other Important Tips
- Do not sign any document unless it’s for the police or your insurance agent.
- Make immediate notes about the accident, including specific damages to all vehicles involved, witness information, etc.
- If the name on an auto registration is different than the driver, jot down the relationship.
- Be polite, but don’t tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
- State only the facts, and limit your discussion of the accident to the police and your insurance agent.
- If possible, don’t leave the accident scene before the police and other drivers do.
And if you go out on along car ride, bring along extra clothes and food just in case you get stuck. Where are you thinking of exploring this Spring?