No one plans on getting in a car accident. However. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were about 5.25 million police-report crashes in 2020, with about 2.28 million injuries. Even with this significant number of annual auto accidents, most people are not prepared for an accident. You should get prepared.
Car accidents are scary and stressful in the best of circumstances. A little preparation can go a long way to making the experience a little easier. As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. Below are a few tips to prepare for a car crash:
1. Keep copies of all important documents in your car.
a. Insurance & Registration: Make sure you have current copies of your personal auto
insurance card and vehicle registration in your car and are easily accessible.
b. Driver License: Always carry your current and valid driver’s license with you when
operating a vehicle.
c. Emergency Contact List: Additionally, keep a list of emergency contacts with these
documents. In the event you are seriously injured, emergency personnel will search
your vehicle for identification and contact information. This will help them to reach
your loved ones in the event of an emergency.
2. Have an emergency kit available.
Your emergency kit should contain at least the following: first aid supplies, batteries, blankets, water, flares, reflectors, flashlight, camera, notepad, pens, and a pre-paid phone.
3. Have a towing/roadside assistance service available.
In the event your vehicle is disabled from the collision, you don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road, frantically searching for an available tow company, who will likely charge significantly more than the cost of an annual service, to rescue you. Having a service in place before you need it will provide you with peace of mind and be one less thing you will have to stress about at the scene of an accident.
4. Confirm you are covered.
Talk to your insurance agent and make sure you have the appropriate insurance coverage if you are involved in an auto accident. Washington state law requires motorists to carry a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury or death caused to one person, and $50,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury or death caused to two or more people. Additionally, the law requires a minimum property damage liability limit of $10,000. See RCW 46.29.090.
In addition to the required minimum liability limits, there are many other coverages that you may want to consider such as collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection, uninsured/underinsured motorist, rental car, towing, etc. Your insurance agent will be happy to discuss with you what these additional coverages will provide if you have been in an auto accident. It is better to know what coverage you have, or don’t have before you need it.