No one wants to get in a car accident. We all hope we are driving well enough to avoid disaster, but sometimes disaster strikes whether or not we wish for it. The only thing we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I’m sure most of us at least wear our seatbelts which is probably the biggest preparation you can have for an accident. (I know, my parents crashed a car when I was ten and seatbelt saved my life.) But what else can we do to make sure we are ready, should the worst happen?

Keep a Disposable Camera in the Car

In 2005 I was driving on the freeway to family event when the car in front of me stopped abruptly. I just had time to brake, but the car behind me didn’t. I was smashed between the two cars. One thing I wished I had that day was a camera. When you’re in an accident it’s hard to see the details of what happened clearly. Pictures taken at the scene can bring a clearer vision of accident to your mind. Plus, you’ll have physical proof in your hand.

I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell the story of the accident again and again. To the police, to all three insurance companies, to the chiropractor I had to see. The actual moment was blur, and having a picture in hand may have saved me some money in the end. It’s such a small and insignificant thing that can make a huge difference in a crash.

Make Sure You Know the Correct Numbers

One thing I am glad I had in my accident was my phone. I probably would have had a mental breakdown if I wasn’t able to call my husband and let him know how I was doing. But I did make one mistake, I called 911. Now, there are times in an accident when you should call 911. Like if someone is seriously injured. But that shouldn’t be the number you reach for if everyone is okay.

I felt awful for calling 911 and needing to be transferred to highway patrol. What if I tied the lines up? What if there was a real emergency? I don’t want to be caught in that scenario again, so now I program highway patrol into my phone. It gives me a sense of security.

Always be Aware of the Little things

Another thing I wish I had kept track of right before my accident was my speed. Proving that I wasn’t speeding would have helped my accident case immensely. But the traffic had been slow, and I was in the middle of speeding up. I didn’t know what my speed was exactly, and that makes a difference in a serious crash.

This, combined with other factors, (such as how the cars around you reacted to the accident) can make an impact in your insurance claims case. Don’t take those little things for granted.

It’s never fun to think about being in an accident. But being prepared can give you a piece of mind, even if it seems minuscule in the big picture. Trying to avoid accidents is always best of course, but it never hurts to be prepared.

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