At last, the holiday season has finally here, marred by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic and most likely impacting everyone’s plans this year. However, there are still many people traveling during the holidays to meet their families. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve is usually the busiest and the deadliest travel times of the year. And the U.S. Department of Transportation reports, more than 91 percent of long-distance holiday travel is by personal vehicles. That results in a higher number of car accidents on the roads.
The cold weather and changing road conditions with the influx of heavy traffic during the new year holidays can bring out the worst in people. Time constraints, short temper, distractions, and congested roads can create hostile road conditions causing more car accidents. According to the study by the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety, the last six-day period of December has 18 percent more accidents than both Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Also, the Christmas and New Year season crash mostly involve drug or alcohol-impaired drivers.
The time right after an accident is critical, and every driver should know what to do to stay safe and make the post-accident process smooth. Here are a few steps you need to take after you’ve been involved in an accident.
Ensure everyone is safe
Right after the accident, you need to stay calm and determine if anyone is injured. If so, call 911 to get the police and ambulance at your location immediately. Also, check the passenger’s health if you riders with you in the vehicle. Once you’re done checking everyone in your car, you should check the other vehicle to ensure everyone on that vehicle is also safe.
Move the vehicle to a safer area.
In case the vehicles involved in an accident are still operational, get them off the main road as soon as possible. It’s imperative to move the cars to the shoulder or off the road to prevent being hit by other vehicles passing. In case the cars are not operational, set up an emergency triangle or reflective flares to warn other approaching vehicles. If there are a fluid leak and danger of explosion, get everyone away from the car.
Call Police & Seek Medical attention.
At times after an accident, the vehicles are operational and might be safe to drive. While the parties involved apparently have minor injuries, it is essential to stop and call the police to create a comprehensive report. The police report is an unbiased report of the incident and can help settle your claim.
When you request the police, you also need to identify any passengers needing medical assistance. Simultaneously, determining the severity of the injury to alert the nearby medical teams for emergency medical attention. Seeking proper medical treatment help can save the lives of the people involved in an accident.
Collect information and document the crash
Every state law has a different requirement for how much information you are expected to provide at the accident scene. Usually, you only have to provide your name and insurance information to the other drivers involved in the accident. One might want to discuss the details of the crash with the other driver, but it’s better to limit the interaction so you don’t admit the blame or guilt to the other person.
You’ll want to get the following information:
- Name and insurance details from the other driver
- Telephone number, in case the other driver is willing to provide
- If there are any witnesses, contact information from them
- Pictures of the incident and damage
- Police report number. Also, note the police officer’s name and telephone number.
- If possible, make notes of the scene and what happened on the ground during the incident.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a mobile app – WreckCheck. That can record the whole scene, create audio and written details, and lets you email everything to your agent or yourself. However, if you don’t have a smartphone handy but have paper and a pen. Draw the incident scene details and make notes about how the incident happened, with the directions in which each vehicle was traveling.
Identify what insurance coverage would apply.
How the insurance claim process comes out for you depends on who was at fault and on the type of coverage you and the other driver have. We’ll assume that the other driver was at fault, your insurance coverage would work like this:
- Your and passenger’s expenses
- Your vehicle repairing: The other driver’s damage liability coverage will pay for repairs up to the policy’s limit.
- Medical bills: These would depend on the other driver’s bodily injury liability coverage limit in most states. While in the 12 no-fault states, your own insurance personal injury protection would bear the cost.
However, when the other driver didn’t have insurance or don’t have enough coverage to pay your bills. The uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage would payout, which is mandatory in 21 states.
- The other driver’s expenses will be divided as follows:
- Their car: collision coverage will compensate for the repairs up to the vehicle’s actual cash value.
- Their injuries: The MedPay or the medical payments coverage, a part of their policy would work for hand in hand with the health insurance coverage.
Coverages that can help either driver:
- Emergency roadside service: can come in handy when the car is inoperable, and you need to tow the vehicle to the repair shop. Before you decide where to get a roadside assistance plan, you need to consider many factors like what it covers and how much it costs.
- Rental Car coverage: you can get a car to continue your journey, while the rental car reimbursement coverage pays for the vehicle while yours is being repaired.
Call for an emergency towing service.
A car accident can incur both physical and mental damage to the driver and passenger. In case your vehicle is not drivable due to extensive damage or broken part that won’t allow your car to operate correctly. You need to call a reliable and efficient towing and roadside assistance company specializing in accident towing. SPN America towing network extended throughout the country has been providing prompt vehicle breakdown assistance to get the drivers and their vehicles to safety.
If you ever get into an accident and need immediate assistance, call SPN America towing network to get quick help from proficient and certified roadside assistance professionals. Call SPN America now for more details, or check out the services offered by our experts.