Perhaps one of the most terrifying happenings in a driver’s life is the nearly-guaranteed-to-happen-at-least-once-before-you’re-too-old-to-drive car accident. When this happens, be prepared, be safe, and be smart. Follow these simple instructions if you happen to find yourself with the front end of your car smashed into a guardrail.
Shut off the car. If the gas tank is damaged or punctured, you don’t want the hot fumes to ignite a spark. Then the dent in the side of the passenger door would be the least of your problems.
Check the passengers. Are they ok? Any broken bones? Extensive bleeding? Call 911 if needed.
If another car was involved, go talk to the driver. Exchange insurance information, phone numbers, and such. It doesn’t matter if you’re the world’s greatest driver; the other person probably doesn’t know that yet; don’t accuse.
If damage is minimal you might want to consider paying for repairs out of pocket if you were at fault or having the other party pay out of pocket if they are responsible. Remember your own insurance company pays for any damage to your vehicle whether you are at fault or not. After 3 incidents even though you were not at fault you may have a problem getting your policy renewed. If there is personal injury involved in any accident always report it to your insurance company. If the insurance company is not involved with a seemingly minor property claim and the individual sues for personal injuries later you will be on your own since they were never involved in the original claim!
If involving your insurance company then call the police and file a report. Then call the insurance company.
If the insurance company recommends that you get your car repaired at a Direct Repair Facility (D.R.P. facility), it might be in your best interest to follow the company’s advice. They recommend the D.R.P.’s because they know the repair shop won’t take its sweet time in fixing your automobile to the condition it was* before it was damaged. D.R.P philosophy is to make getting your car repaired as painlessly as possible. If you want to have your vehicle repaired by a repair shop of your chosing you also can insist it be repaired by a facility of you choice. Sure you could get similar service from other non-D.R.P. places, but then you’d actually have to go out and look for it. Why not make the insurance company do all the work?
* Insurance companies entitle you to having your car repaired to the way it was before the crash. So if the body was rusted before, the body will still be rusted after or you will pay betterment charges. No use trying to convince State Farm that that wreck that looks like it used to be a mini-van was actually once a 1967 hot rod. Yet it is your decision about what type of parts to fix the car with: Original Equipment (OEM) or non-original Equipment (After-Market). Regardless of your choice, the parts must be of Like Kind and Quality (L.KQ.). The repair shop should recommend which would be the better choice in your given situation.
There are certain features that a car can have to make sure it is better prepared for the hazards of the road. Make sure your car is equipped with them before you drive 100 mph on a dark highway.
While anti-lock brakes can’t promise that they will prevent you from getting into an accident, they are a key factor in avoiding collisions. They prevent the wheel from locking when you slam your foot on the brake in alarm so you can actually swerve out of the way of the deer standing dumb-founded in the middle of the road. Yet, the total benefits of anti-lock brakes only come with those cars that are equipped with it on all four wheels.
One of the peskiest things a driver can encounter is the guy following way too close with his brights shining blindingly into the rearview mirror. Get a car with automatic dimming rearview mirrors. Typical cars have the manual switch you can use to reduce that annoying light. Automatic ones, instead of allowing you to look at the road at a different angle, get dimmer as the glare in the mirror gets brighter. Some cars even have outside mirrors that automatically tint. In any event you are always better off to let tailgaters pass you even if it means pulling over to the side of the road.
Ceilings of cars may be equipped with head injury protection, which is foam or a similar material that absorbs energy and cannot be seen from riders in the car. Some cars even have side air bags for head protection.
That nifty little headrest that is on the back of the seat is actually a head restraint. It limits a head’s movement during a crash and can reduce the possibility of a neck sprain. Restraints are adjustable for your safety and can be most effective when then top of the restraint is between the top or your ears and the top of your head. The restraint should allow your head to rest parallel with your neck and not push your head forward or allow you to lean it back.
Traction control improves stability, so when you accelerate on wet or snow/ice covered roads you don’t experience a loss of steering in a front wheel drive vehicle or go into a dangerous skid on a rear wheel drive vehicle. This system controls and adjusts engine power and can apply brakes to certain wheels when you accelerate. This is most commonly found on cars with 4 channel anti-lock brakes.
While accidents are bound to happen, you can at least equip your car so that they occur less often.