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In Case of a Crash: What to Have in Your Car

Written by Nikita Wolf, Trial Attorney with the Pendleton Law Team

As the City of Richmond and surrounding areas begin entering Phase I of COVID-19 restrictions, more people can be seen out on the roads.  However, inevitably more people on the roads means more chances of getting into a car accident.  While the most important thing to be concerned about is the health and well-being of yourself, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the wreck, there are a number of items that are useful to keep in your vehicle in case of a car crash:

Proof of Insurance

Hopefully you have some form of auto insurance when you are driving a vehicle.  If so, your insurance provider likely provided you with some form of “ID” which identifies your insurance provider, policy number, and maybe even coverage options on that vehicle.  While many of us can use our insurance provider’s phone apps, it’s a good idea to keep a paper copy somewhere in your vehicle – the glove box and center console are the two most common places to store this vital piece of information.

List of Contacts

This list should include at minimum the numbers of local law enforcement, your insurance company’s claims department contact number, and the names and phone numbers of the people first responders or police officers should contact right away should you be unable, for any reason, to contact them yourself after a wreck.  These numbers should be stored with your proof of insurance or even attached directly to the proof of insurance itself.

A cellphone

Many of us drive around with these devices every day and wouldn’t dream of leaving home without them.  Not only can you use the phone to call 911, the police, and your closest contacts, but almost all phones have built-in cameras too.  If you’re able, you can use your phone to take pictures (or even video!) of the scene, the vehicles, and the people involved in the wreck including any injuries sustained.

Flashlight and/or Road Flares

In case you have the misfortune to be involved in a nighttime car crash, having a flashlight and road flares can be very useful to alerting other motorists that there is danger ahead.  Should you choose to use them, flares should be set several feet back from where the cars come to a rest after the crash so that passing motorists have enough time to see the flares and take evasive action to avoid a secondary collision.  Only place flares if you deem that it is safe enough to do so.  You can also engage your car’s built-in emergency flashers, regardless of lighting or weather conditions.

A pen and some paper

Sometimes cell phones are broken as personal items are jostled around by the force of the crash.  If this happens, you won’t be able to call the people we discussed earlier.  Having a pen and paper handy will allow you to take down the other driver’s contact and insurance information as well as make notes about how the crash occurred (get those drawing skills ready!), the weather conditions, what the other driver said to you, and any injuries you sustained.

If you are injured in a crash due to no fault of your own, call the Pendleton Law Team at 804-250-5050 for help now!