Saturday, March 9, 2013

A CRASH Course in Collision Safety with UT Tyler Bloggers

One day, you’re just driving down the lane. Traffic is bad and you’re irritated because you might be late to that party you were supposed to be attending at 3 o’clock and it’s already 2:55, and people just refuse to stay in their lane. You’re trying to be careful when suddenly, a truck pulls into the road and the person in front of you slams on their brakes and they seem to be flying towards you, as you try your best to hit your brakes so you don’t slam into them! …But it’s too late. There’s a pop, and your airbags are flying and you’re stunned.

At least, that’s what happened to me this weekend. Car accidents are a terrifying experience for anyone, whether you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, or you’re in the middle of one of the busiest areas in town. You might be stunned and terrified, or heaven forbid, injured, when the dust settles. But there are some things you will want to remember if this ever happens to you:

  1.        If your car is in a hazardous area, see if you and the other person involved can move into a safer area, such as a side road or a parking lot. If your car can’t be moved, turn on the hazards.
  2.       Call the police if the wreck is bad. You want them there to help sort everything out and get the help you need.
  3.     Call your parents or someone close to you who can come help you in the time of crisis. It not only helps you calm down, they can also help you figure out what to do.
  4.     Call your insurance company as soon as you or someone with you has made the other calls. You want them to know what happened so they can help you deal with any costs you might have.
  5.      Exchange your license, insurance info, and telephone number with the other person involved.
  6.         Let the police decide who is at fault for the accident if there is a question. You might be stunned and not thinking clearly at the time and if you take money for the accident and agree not to call anyone, you may have issues later if there are more issues and the money doesn’t cover it.
  7.     Stay calm and take a deep breath. Accidents happen and it is scary and awful, but don’t give up on driving or think you are not good enough. If you need extra help, consider defensive driving.

Here are a couple of things to always keep in mind and in your car in case of emergencies and accidents such as the one I described :
  • Always have a copy of your insurance in your car or your wallet/purse. You don’t want to be caught without your information if you have to give it to the police and/or the other people involved in the accident
  • Remember to keep your cell phone charged and have a charger in your car just in case so if you get stranded, you aren’t without a way to contact someone for help! (Don’t end up like this girl)
  • Keep a blanket, water, and snacks in the car in case of being stranded or needing something to eat to stabilize you after a burst of adrenaline that comes with accidents.
  • Make sure your spare tire is usable in case you have a flat or a blowout. If this happens to you, make sure you get the bad tire replaced at a tire shop on the first chance you get so you are never without an extra!
  • If you have to pull over at night on the highway, pull off the road as far as you can in a well lit area (if possible) and put your hazard lights on.

That’s all the wisdom I have for you right now. Car accidents are scary and pretty bad, but they happen to a lot of people at least once in their lives. It’s always good to be prepared for them so you can face down the issue with as much confidence as you can. As for me, I think I need a couple of pain-killers and a break before I head back to class at UT Tyler.

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