It was 8:32am on a sunny California winter morning and traffic was moving smoothly at 60-65 miles an hour on the 405 out of Los Angeles when I felt a hard jolt at the back of my car, accompanied by the sound of glass and plastic tinkling onto the freeway. The driver in the adjacent lane misjudged his lane change and hit me instead.
If you have your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance handy, you are well along in the process of working out the accident report with the on-scene officer.
Other nice-to-have items at such times include a cell phone and your insurance company claims department number, membership in an outfit that will respond to help you glue back the pieces, and a card listing contact names and numbers in case you prove incoherent…or worse.
Should this ever happen to you, it will happen fast. You won’t have time to think about all the steps in the process. So…check periodically, and be sure your glove compartment holds the up-to-date basic items you may need to recover well from an accidental connection with another driver.