Over the past five years, 79% of American families have taken road trips and 68% prefer driving to flying. Traffic accidents are all too common during these otherwise happy getaways.
Road trips come with added hazards and distractions you’d probably prefer to overlook. But when an accident happens, it brings everything to a screeching halt and puts a damper on your trip.
Before you head out on your next road trip, think about what you’d do if you were in a car accident on the road. It’s a headache to handle an accident while traveling and you can’t necessarily rely on your hometown lawyer to handle it. Here’s what you need to know.
Reasons Why Road Trip Accidents are Common
There are many reasons why it’s more common to be in a car accident during a road trip than while driving around your hometown. First of all, you’re far less familiar with the streets, unlike the ones you drive on your daily commute. This makes you more likely to get confused by unfamiliar stretches of road and make a driving error.
Plus, there are lots of distractions during a road trip. You might have your children and pets in the car, as well as snacks, drinks, games, music, and luggage. Even cheerful conversation can be distracting for a driver who’s in new territory.
As you drive, you’ll probably need navigational information from a map or smartphone. A helpful passenger could confuse the driver or gesture across their field of view. One moment of distraction is all it takes for an accident.
Speeding is a significant risk factor, especially during holiday road trips. As people rush to reach their relatives on time to eat holiday dinners, they exceed the speed limit and cause crashes.
Similarly, impaired driving is a major factor in holiday road trip accidents. The National Safety Council reports that 38% of all car crashes on Christmas Day involve alcohol. The auto insurance industry recognizes 5 deadly holidays as those with the highest death and injury rates of the year: Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, Father’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo.
Fatigue is another reason for road trip car crashes. When you’re on the road driving for many hours at a time and off your usual sleeping schedule, fatigue can overtake you and cause you to drift off the roadway or out into traffic.
What to Do After a Road Trip Accident
After an accident during your road trip, your first priority is to focus on safety. Is anyone injured? Call 911 to report injuries and stay calm while you work with the first responders and the police.
Accept medical treatment and follow the doctor’s orders. Save your medical bills and request a copy of the police report, because these key pieces of documentation will help form the basis of your car accident claim. Don’t give a recorded statement – or any statement – to the insurance company until you contact a qualified car accident lawyer.
It’s important to work with a car accident lawyer who’s local to the California city in or near where your accident occurred. Every jurisdiction has its own laws and ordinances, so you’ll need the help of a legal professional with plenty of experience that relates to your case.
A road trip accident might ruin your trip, but it doesn’t have to ruin your life. Reach out to the experienced legal team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers for compassionate car accident representation in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and nearby California communities.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Trip
After a car accident during a road trip, please contact the attorney team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of personal injury law, including road trip accidents in California. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details. Call 877-380-8852 today for a free case evaluation.