When a Road Trip Goes Wrong: Coping With the Aftermath of a Car Accident
Road trips are a fantastic way to explore the country and spend time with your friends and family. A successful road trip requires plenty of planning. You need to factor in what you’re going to see while on the road, as well as where you’ll sleep. You also need to consider the costs and make sure that you’re covered for fuel on your adventure.
One of the things that you always need to plan while travelling is what you’ll do in an emergency situation. Nobody wants to end up in an emergency, but the best way to get out of a bad situation is to make sure that you’re prepared.
When you’re on a road trip, one of the worst things that can happen is that you end up in a car accident and charged with a misdemeanor when you are found at fault. A car crash can be anything from inconvenient to traumatizing, but even a minor bump can delay your road trip and set you back. It can potentially wreck your trip. Here are some ways to make sure that you can be prepared and cope with the aftermath of the crash.
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Before You Travel
The first thing to do is to make sure that your vehicle is in good condition before you go. A road trip can put a lot of stress on your car, as you’re churning through a lot of miles in a relatively short period of time. Depending on the terrain, you might even end up going off-road or driving on rough ground, which can be even more potentially damaging.
Make sure that your car can handle the terrain and the miles that you’re about to put it through. If you plan on going off-road, then take an off-roader. Take your car to the garage and get it checked out and serviced so that it’s in the best condition it can be.
Breaking down on a road trip is almost as miserable as getting into a crash, and mechanical failures can lead to car accidents. Depending on where you’re travelling, you can end up stranded somewhere with limited ways to contact help. Even if your car is in good condition, another tip is to plan out the fuel pumps along the route so that you can be sure that you never run out of fuel and end up having to make the long trek to the nearest gas station.
Stock your car up with emergency supplies, just in case. Yes, you’ll likely have food and water in the car anyway, but make sure that you also have a blanket and a first aid kit. If you will end up somewhere without any signal, then take a radio and make sure that you know who to contact if you get into trouble.
Planning your route will help you to avoid plenty of trouble, as you’ll know the nearest places to go in the event of an emergency. Maybe your trip will be ruined because of an accident or a break down, but at least your group will be as safe as possible and something can be salvaged from your holiday.
Immediately After a Crash
In the event of a crash, it’s easy to panic. Car crashes are terrifying, even if nobody is hurt. However, it’s important to keep your head. The first thing to do is to make sure that you and your friends are safe. If possible, move away from the vehicle and the road, especially if the engine starts smoking.
Phone emergency services right away. You might need to contact the police, fire and rescue (especially is someone is trapped in a vehicle), and ambulance services. Once the danger is over, then you can think about your insurance.
While now might not seem like the best time to consider your insurance policy, the sooner you act, the better. Take photographs of the scene. If you have a dash cam in your vehicle, then you should retrieve the data once it’s safe. If there is another driver involved, then get their contact information, as well as the information of any witnesses.
Contact your insurance company right away and explain the situation. Ideally, they should be able to get you a courtesy car as soon as possible. You never know, you might be able to continue with your road trip, especially if the crash wasn’t too severe.
If you need to seek medical attention, then get a check-up. Even if you seem okay, it’s recommended to get looked over by a medical professional. This isn’t just better for your health, as some injuries from car accidents aren’t immediately obvious without a check-up, but it’s better for your insurance as well.
Finally, arrange to have your vehicle checked over by a mechanic. Again, this is both better for your car and for your insurance. If you had sent your car in for a service just before the crash, then your mechanic can very easily identify what damage has been caused by the crash.
Ideally, everyone involved in the accident was able to walk away. Unfortunately, you might be left with physical injuries or emotional trauma. In this situation, seek medical attention and give yourself the time you need to recover.
A car accident can have huge ramifications on your life, as it’s physically, mentally, and financially taxing. In some cases, you will have to contact a car accident lawyer so that you can take the responsible party to court and get the compensation that you’re entitled to. In any severe car crash, a lawyer will be able to help you to navigate the legal aftermath.
It can take years to get over an event like this, so don’t be afraid to seek out help. You may need physiotherapy to recover from any injuries and your life could take some adjusting to. Talking to someone, whether a friend or a mental professional can help you to work through these new challenges.
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