I think my car has a magnetic force field that attracts bad drivers.
Specifically, the bumpers on my cars. In the past two years alone, I have needed three new bumpers.I thought that maybe the third bumper was the charm. . .
but just a few days ago, while stopped at a stop sign, an elderly woman named Virginia decided to take the left hand turn a bit too tightly. Proof positive that Virginia is not just for lovers, friends. I have to say, nothing sounds worse to me than the crunch of cars colliding. Maybe it’s because it usually is followed by the awful realization that an incredibly annoying process has just begun.
You all have likely heard the expression :
I say unfortunately because, in my case, I’m getting lots of practice doing car accident follow-up. Yay. In hopes that somebody might benefit from my unfortunate new skill in coping with said accidents, I have decided to share the privilege of my dubious expertise.
What happens after the crunch:
#1: Pull over, and prepare yourself for:
God-knows-what, because you might have just butted heads (or bumpers?) with The Incredible Hulk on a grumpy day and he might be currently exploding out of his pants into a giant snarling monster of fury who is planning to smash you verbally even more than he already has with his car.
Or, if you are lucky, there is a slight chance that your little incidente has just occurred with Bambi’s mother reincarnate, and is currently sobbing from the sheer trauma of a fender bender. Whatever happens just stay cool, polite, and professional. Remember: they call these things accidents because NOBODY means for them to happen! Also, please note that this step is crucial in avoiding what is commonly known as a “hit and run”. . . which happens to be a felony in most states . . . so don’t skip step one, people.
#2: Grab Your Papers
Like traveling through enemy territory, step two is all about having the right papers. Much like a spy attempting to go undetected in said enemy territory, not having the right identification papers could be dire! You are going to need your license and your car’s registration. Also, if you have a pen, this will expediate the process incredibly (read: keep a pen in your car). At this point, it might also help to have a handy-dandy form that I made. If you print a few of these off and keep them in your dashboard, just have everybody at the scene (yourself included) fill one out and then exchange them!
Accidents Happen – A Form For All (click to download the PDF!)
#3: Ask “the Question” (Prove your Humanity)
Please note, at this point, it is customary to ask, “Are you all right?” all around. This is to show that you are not an unfeeling monster, but do have some decency as a human being. This is usually the first thing that should be said. It’s always good to lead as a human. At this point, you may also want to be careful to be as intelligent a human being as possible, especially if you are at fault for the accident, because nothing is worse than being smashed into and subsequently inflicted with an obnoxious personality.
#4: Look at the Damage on Both Cars
Snap a picture if your camera phone is around . . . just in case somebody tries to scam you down the (proverbial) road.