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Learn2 Deal with a Fender Bender
(6 steps)

Your car's had a rough day, but you don't have to

You're pulling out of a parking space, and suddenly--thud--another driver has bumped the side of your car. Nobody's hurt, but both cars have suffered dents and scrapes. You were on your way somewhere, but now you're standing in the middle of a parking lot with a stranger. Should you call the police? What types of information should you obtain from the other driver before you each go your separate ways? Before you let the situation put a damper on your day, follow these guidelines to deal with a fender bender.

Before you begin

Getting into a car accident is no fun. But it's even worse if you're not prepared. Storing some simple, everyday items in your glove compartment or trunk will go a long way toward making the experience less stressful. Store a flashlight in the car in case the accident happens at night, and keep a pen and paper on hand to take down the other driver's information. Some insurance companies and automobile associations may provide roadside assistance and telephone advice, so keep these phone numbers handy as well.

Make sure you choose a reliable auto insurance company that will provide adequate support when you need it. Check your library for books and periodicals that rate auto insurance companies on such things as customer service and reliability.

Note: This 2torial covers fender benders--meaning minor accidents--in the U.S. The process and laws will be different in other countries.
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Step 1: Keep calm
Step 2: Call the police
Step 3: Exchange information
Step 4: Consider your deductible
Step 5: Contact your insurance company
Step 6: Get an estimate and repairs

  • Some paper and a pen or pencil
  • Coins for a telephone
  • The phone number for your insurance company
  • A flashlight


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