Your meeting went over, it’s dark outside and the weather is wet… not rain, not snow, but an unhealthy mixture of the two. Your significant other is home waiting for you and you didn’t think to call, but now you just want to get home—the sooner the better. As that thought enters your mind, you’re caught off-guard by a large dog darting in front of you. You swerve to miss the dog and your car glides sideways across the road, seemingly forever.
Your mind is having a difficult time comprehending what’s happening, and you can feel the car bouncing as the tires attempt to grab the road. By the time you realize what is going on, it occurs to you there is no doubt, the car is going to roll. What do you do?
Sound familiar? Probably not, but it should. Why should it? Because chances are good you’re going to be a car tomorrow and somebody somewhere is going to roll his car. Amazingly enough, that isn’t the most important part of this discussion because the likelihood of you being in a rollover isn’t really that good.
Something that has much higher odds of happening is you’re stuck without a career, you get a divorce, you lose your home or your car and after a short amount of time you’re scrambling to sell things to pay your bills. The odds of one of these things happening is much more likely.
Experts have been known to tell people six to twelve months of savings is imperative for a healthy financial portfolio, and I’m here to say that even though I have a great deal of respect for some of these people, there’s more to do after that’s achieved. Having a savings plan, or a “nest egg” as some call it, really isn’t enough. How do I know? Because I’ve been there, that’s how. I was single and seven months pregnant, injured severely in a car accident and unable to recover. I had my nest egg put away and I managed to survive for four years without a steady income. After three and a half years, we were homeless. A lot of fighting and refusing to give up, has put us right back in the game where we are today.
“So, what’s your point?” I hear some of you asking, “What does that have to do with a rollover?” “Accidents” are accidents because they were not intended and completely unexpected. The only way to recover from being financially inept is never to be there in the first place. How do you do that? Invest. A savings plan saves; and an investment plan invests. The difference in interest alone is worth looking into, even if it’s a CD. Some people are afraid of what they don’t know, so that means you’ll need to educate yourself to ensure you do know. And something you should know is that counting on insurance, is simply not enough.
If you’re insistent on investing as a plan of action, make sure you know what you’re doing and get some help. There are companies out there specifically to educate you about stocks and investing so you don’t need to be a broker to put money away, places like “Investools,” “Ameritrade,” and “Think or Swim”. Any time you can invest, make sure you read the fine print. You don’t want to invest in something you cannot touch for a year, so you’ll want it to be a liquid investment.
Now that I’ve given you direction in surviving a “financial rollover,” let me give you the answer this article began with according to “The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook” by Joshua Piven, David Borgenicht, and Ben H. Winters.
The answer is–
1) Pull your feet from the pedals and tuck them under your seat to prevent your ankles from breaking.
2) Let go of the steering wheel so that when your body moves and jolts, additional trauma doesn’t occur.
3) Keep your arms and body away from the windows as much as possible while you’re turning, usually by crossing your arms over your chest.
4) When the car has settled, brace your feet against the floor in order to maintain stillness and insure the car is finished moving. You can do this by slowly counting to sixty. (I would also encourage you to inhale four times and exhale slowly to clear your mind of any trauma, enabling you to think more clearly.)
5) Now, check yourself over to ensure you have no serious injuries, especially your head.
6) It’s imperative to run your hands through your hair because sometimes this body part is difficult to detect injury without feeling it with your hands. Glass or other objects could be present.
7) If you have an injury, REMAIN MOTIONLESS!
8) If you appear to be uninjured, reach toward your ceiling and brace yourself with one hand, and your feet, while you undo your seatbelt with the other, allowing yourself gently out of the belt. (Be extremely careful during this process as this is where the majority of the injuries are sustained.)
9) If the roll bar has sustained the integrity of the car the door may just open. If not, you’ll need to use a window to roll it down or break it out with a metal object—you need to create an opening to escape.
10) Once you’re free of the car, run as quickly as you can, in case there’s a fuel leak, which could cause a sudden explosion. (We’ve all seen this in movies and unfortunately it happens!)
You need to know rollovers account for only three percent of total accidents, but cause about one-fourth of fatal crashes. More than half of people killed in car accidents, of a single vehicle, are from rollovers.
Now that you know how to survive the less likelihood of a rollover accident, when are you going to prepare yourself for an accident more likely to occur—financial devastation? Your tires have slid several times. Is your plan to be prepared?