Accidents – Revisited

Since I wrote the article last month entitled, “What to do if You are in a Car Accident,” I was actually in an accident. I was glad that I had done the research for the article which really helped me during and immediately following the accident. But there were some additional things that I learned and want to share them with you in this article.

The Accident

I was coming up to an intersection, and the light was green. However, there was traffic stopped ahead that I could not see in front of the minivan that was ahead of me. The minivan was not moving. As I approached I put on my brakes. Suddenly I heard a loud CLUNK, and my foot went all the way to the floor. NO BRAKES! I swerved into the oncoming lane to avoid hitting the minivan.  Too late! I clipped the back bumper of the minivan. The adrenaline was pumping, my heart racing and my stomach turning from the gut-wrenching feeling of dread. Now what?!

We were in heavy traffic, the minivan immediately pulled away and turned onto a side street.  I followed since my truck could drive but had no front brakes. In last month’s article, I stated it is best not to move the cars and to take pictures. Well, this was different. Both vehicles could move, and the minivan had already pulled over into a side street.

My Mistake

After I made sure everyone was all right, I immediately admitted that my front brakes failed. I know I said NOT to admit guilt, but clearly, mechanical failure was the reason, and it was obviously my fault. The people in the minivan turned out to be some of the nicest people I ever met. They were calm and understanding. They knew there was nothing I could have done, so they did not want to call the police. They said they did not want to see me get a ticket on top of everything else. Since everyone was okay, I decided just to make sure we exchanged information.

Take Photos

I did follow my own advice by taking photos of the accident, the license plate of the minivan, and their insurance card. The very next thing I did was call my insurance company. That was probably the smartest thing I did all day. My insurance company recorded all of the information and was able to dispatch a tow truck right away. They walked me through everything and even said right there that they would pay for the bumper on the minivan.  I was never so happy to have insurance.

I also took photos of my truck, but there was very little visible damage. The brake caliper actually broke and fell apart. I was just happy no one was seriously hurt. After the long ride to the repair shop in the tow truck, I was happy to have the incident taken care of.

I have to say that taking a lot of photos on my phone, including the tow truck, was helpful in being able to remember the incident and the details.

Conclusion

I sincerely hope you are never in an accident, but if you are and no one is hurt, be sure to call your insurance company right away and take lots of photos!

Written by Gary Pradel