Tag Archives: procedure

What to Do After an Accident

Having a car accident is a very upsetting, stressful situation. Being prepared and knowing what to do can make things a little bit easier. Make sure you know which host parent to call in case of an accident.

Make sure you have all the necessary documents in your car glove box. Read this post on What to Keep in the Car Glove Box for a detailed list.

If you have an accident: (from Edmunds.com)

  1. Keep Safety First. Drivers involved in minor accidents with no serious injuries should move cars to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. Leaving cars parked in the middle of the road or busy intersection can result in additional accidents and injuries. If a car cannot be moved, drivers and passengers should remain in the cars with seatbelts fastened for everyone’s safety until help arrives. Make sure to turn on hazard lights and set out cones, flares or warning triangles if possible.
  2. Exchange Information. After the accident, exchange the following information: name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle. If the driver’s name is different from the name of the insured, establish what the relationship is and take down the name and address for each individual. Also make a written description of each car, including year, make, model and color — and the exact location of the collision and how it happened. Finally, be polite but don’t tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
  3. Photograph and Document the Accident. Use your camera to document the damage to all the vehicles. Keep in mind that you want your photos to show the overall context of the accident so that you can make your case to a claims adjuster. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information; they may be able to help you if the other drivers dispute your version of what happened.

Important Reminder: You may always phone the police (911) to ask for help, if you feel unsafe because of how the other person is behaving. Your safety is the most important thing.

Image: cygnus921 (Flickr)

Changes to the Maryland Driver's Handbook

changeFrom the MVA website:
Beginning October 2011, the knowledge test you must pass to get a non-commercial Class C learner’s permit will be based on information in the new Maryland Driver’s Manual. The new Manual includes basic knowledge on driver safety for new drivers, including: traffic laws of this State; highway signs regulating, warning & directing traffic; and safe driving practices.  The improved graphics, full-color design, and brief paragraphs provide an easy read of only 39 pages – packed with core driver safety facts.

I have updated the links (on the column to the right) to include the New Driver’s Handbook in English, Spanish and an audio version. Paper copies are available in MVA offices.

There is now one booklet instead of two. The yellow booklet that contains the information on who needs a driver’s license and who does not, which I have given out to be kept in the car, will probably not be available after September.

What to keep in the car for proof now?
I have obtained a copy of the Maryland Law regarding International Drivers. The information is copied directly from a booklet which all police officers have in their squad car. The idea is that it shows them where to look up the law and once they compare your paper to that section of their booklet, they should realize that au pairs are allowed to drive on their country license (for up to one year.) Sometimes, they will still choose to write you the ticket for not having a Maryland license. If that happens, don’t worry. You can go to court and the judge should drop the ticket, as long as you are in your first year and have a valid license from your home country in your possession.

I have uploaded this document on Google Docs. You may access it HERE and print a copy for each car the au pair drives.