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Nothing Can Be Said To Be Certain Except Death, Taxes & Car Accidents

Nothing Can Be Said To Be Certain Except Death, Taxes & Car Accidents

Car Accidents Are a Certainty

You’ve all heard the famous quote, “nothing is certain in life, but death and taxes.”  This quote is usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who wrote in a 1789 letter:

            Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance

            That promises permanency;  but in this world nothing can be said

to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Well let me add just one more thing …. ACCIDENTS.  Of course, there are all sorts of accidents, but for now, let’s focus on CAR ACCIDENTS.  If you are a licensed driver, and you own a car, the odds are overwhelming that sometime in your lifetime, you will have a Car Accident, no matter how careful a driver you are.

Drive Defensively – As if Your Life Depends on It !

Having just said that no matter how careful a driver you are, you will still eventually have a car accident, it is still worth starting with the obvious, meaning, let’s talk about how exactly you can “Drive Defensively.” 

            Be as Emotion-less as a “Vulcan.”  Hopefully, you’ve seen or heard about the classic NBC television series from the 1960’s, “Star Trek.”  Now, of course, digressing a bit, if you are a “Trekkie,” or even if you just watched the TV show or some of the movies that followed, you’re already asking, what do you mean my the “1960’s”?  You watched it in the 1980’s … But, just so you know, the “Star Trek” series debuted in 1966, and only lasted for three (3) years !  But that was followed by decades of Television re-runs, several Television spin-off shows, and a series of movies in theatres.

            Drive Based on Rational Deductions and Analysis But let’s get back to the point.  One of the “Star Trek” characters, “Commander Spock,” played by the actor Leonard Nimoy, was from a faraway planet, and was not exactly human, but was a “Vulcan.”  In the Television series, Vulcans were always “logical,” meaning they acted based upon rational deductions and analysis, and were never swayed by “human” – illogical – emotions.  If another driver “cuts you off,” do not retaliate … do not even think about retaliating, since that would simply not be logical … and not safe, either.

            Don’t Honk, Don’t Glare, Don’t Even Stare.  How many times have you seen one driver “cut off” another driver, and then, the second (“victimized”) driver, passes him, but slows down, twists his neck as far as it will go, takes his eyes off the road, all for the thoroughly illogical pleasure of “glaring” at the offending driver, thus creating a whole new scenario of danger.

The Best Drivers are Always Prepared Taking this to the next logical step, if Car Accidents are a Certainty, then we’d better be prepared.  Indeed, I’ve known this since I was a Boy Scout fifty (50) years ago:  “Be Prepared.”  Turns out my Boy Scout Motto is really all I need.  As stated by Robert Baden-Powell in the third part of Scouting for Boys, the Boy Scout Motto is “Be Prepared, which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body, to do your duty.”

Leave Plenty of Space Between Your Vehicle, and the Vehicle Ahead of You As a well-established “Rule of Thumb,” you should always leave at least One Full Car Length of Space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you, for every TEN (10) Miles per Hour (“MPH”).  This means, if you’re driving at a speed of Seventy (70) Miles Per Hour, you should leave at least Seven (7) Car Lengths between your vehicle, and the vehicle ahead of you.

Stock Your Vehicle With Emergency Provisions.  By this, we mean, that you should keep the following items in your Car Trunk:  plastic emergency Gas Container; an emergency Flair or two; Tire Jack, Lug Wrench and Tire Changing equipment, including, of course, a functioning spare tire; a Camera; food that can last for several years without spoiling, a powerful Flashlight, cell phone charger, batteries, maps, a camping knife, etc.  In fact, every time you go on a long drive, you should think of your trip as a (potential) camping adventure.

Adventures in Driving.  This meant many very important and specific things for a Boy Scout on a camping trip.  It started with packing simple provisions, such as a waterproof poncho, matches, a First Aid kit, a can opener, and a camping knife of some sort.  (By the way, these last two items are not as different as you might think … the original “bayonet” from World War I days was actually designed as a can opener!)

Be Mentally-Ready for an Emergency But of course, to “Be Prepared” meant also meant that you should be in a “state of readiness in mind and body.”  Make plans for your trip, and be ready for anything.  For example, take some time, and think about what hotels or motels you might want to stay at … or perhaps, need to stay at, in an emergency.

What’s in Your Wallet ?  Always carrying some cash, along with my Driver License, Car Registration, Insurance Card, AAA Membership Card, and a Credit or Debit Card that works.  As a Divorced father of young children, this also means always carrying a copy of my kids’ Birth Certificates, and the Custody Order, in case I ever have to prove at an airport or a border, that they are mine.  Seriously.

Contact Information for Your ATTORNEYS – Always carry contact information for the Personal Injury, Family Law, Criminal Defense, Real Estate and Transactional Attorneys that you have used in the past, and can rely upon for good advice, at a moment’s notice.  This list includes the Personal Injury (“PI”) Attorney that got me a fantastic recovery soon after my car accident two years ago, the Family Law attorney that represented me in my Divorce, the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney that handled my DUI several years ago, and the Real Estate and Transactional Attorneys that have helped my through several real estate and business transactions.  In the aftermath of a car accident, a slip & fall, or a legal or physical emergency, it is not a good time to be calling a friend for a referral … you need to instantly know who you are going to call.

Contact Information for Your AUTO MECHANIC – the honest and reliable mechanic that always answers or returns my calls, and would even come to his shop on a Sunday if you needed him.  With your AAA Membership, which will enable you to have your car towed to the repair shop of your choice, and my loyal mechanic, who will meet you there, you will feel much safer.


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