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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Driving in the USA

Recently I had a fender bender accident (meaning a minor accident). Another driver hit my car when I had stopped at a traffic light junction. We came out of our cars to survey the damage and there were minor dents on my car. I took the opportunity to take photos of my car and also his car. When I tried to exchange insurance information with this man, he flatly refused, alleging that some of the dents were not made by his car. In response, I dialed 911 and to my surprise, the man jumped into his car and drove off at full speed. Thankfully I had a photo of his license plate and the police managed to track him down. He was reprimanded by a big burly police officer who told him that he should not leave the scene of an accident and that he could have been charged for “hit and run.”
When driving in the US, it is wise to report any accident (including minor ones) to your insurance company. Be sure to exchange information with the other driver, namely, details of his driver’s license and his car insurance. If possible, get names of witnesses at the scene. If you do not take these steps, you may find that the other driver will report the incident and submit a story that may cost you a lot in claims or even result in a lawsuit. My takeaway from this incident is that it is extremely important to take photos when you are involved in any car accident.
Remember the number 911 as it is the emergency number to call whether you need the police or the ambulance.

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