Steps to Avoid, Steps to Address
Nobody wants to be involved in a vehicle collision. When it occurs when you’re out of town, however, it can be especially stressful. Both literally and figuratively, it will wreck your travel plans. At Gunter Automotive Collision Center in Ridgeway, Virginia, we want to help our clients avoid this circumstance. Therefore, we’ll provide some guidance that might help you avoid or navigate the situation. (Note: This is a generally accepted common sense approach and is not intended as a substitute for legal or medical advice.)
Preventing an Accident When You’re Traveling
Whether you’re driving just down the block or cross country, certain rules of thumb apply. You know them. Don’t drive while under the influence of any impairing substance. Pay careful attention to your surroundings and traffic. Avoid distracted driving (to include phone use, changing the radio, eating, etc.). Beyond these universal basics, there are other special concerns that come with driving in a strange place. For instance, consult your map or set your GPS before you start moving. This will help you keep your eyes on the road and avoid unnecessarily driving into a dangerous area. Also, familiarize yourself with any applicable local rules/laws or circumstances (such as where there is ongoing road construction). If you’re driving long distances, be sure to allow yourself sufficient rest time/breaks. Otherwise, you may fall into “driver hypnosis” or go to sleep while behind the wheel. Finally, don’t let your guard down. This is sometimes tempting if you’re traveling for vacation. You still need to wear your seatbelt, obey the speed limit, etc.
Addressing an Accident That Occurs Out of Town
Best practices for out-of-town collisions closely mirror those for accidents that occur close to home. People, rather than property, are always the primary concern. If possible, call 911 for assistance. To the extent you can, assess yourself to determine if and where you’re injured. Also, take stock of the condition of passengers in your car. If you’re not hurt and it’s safe to do so, also check on the other driver. Any information you can provide to the emergency dispatcher will help him/her prepare emergency responders as they’re en route. Some states or municipalities request that you remove “fender benders” (vehicles with minimal damage that are mobile where there are no injured individuals) from travel lanes while you wait for law enforcement, particularly on major roads. If possible, take pictures of the scene/vehicles and exchange driver/vehicle/insurance information. When it’s time to repair that collision damage, visit Gunter Automotive Collision Center, an I-CAR Gold certified auto body repair facility.