Safety Reminders for Thanksgiving Road Travel

So, you’re going to be doing some driving over the Thanksgiving holiday? Well, you will not be alone. Millions of Americans will be on the roadway with you. According to CNN reporting, there is a weather front from California to Michigan that is impacting travel across the country. More than 20 million people are under winter weather advisories this busy holiday weekend. One thing we know, when there is a weather front across the country, the Midwest will be impacted. Increased holiday traffic often results in an increase in motor vehicle crashes. No matter where you are traveling by highway, there are some good safety reminders to always use but especially when traffic is going to be particularly hectic.

Safety Mentions for a Safe T-Day Travel:

Never, ever drive under the influence. Yes, the holidays are full of merriment, so be certain you have a safe, sober ride planned. Driving under the influence is not only illegal, it causes many preventable deaths and serious car accident injuries.

Avoid distracted driving. Never hold the phone, text or use apps while driving. Use hands-free for directions and to take incoming calls. Reduce the number of calls you take while driving as they are distracting. Avoid eating, putting on make up and being over involved in any activity other than driving. Focus on the roadway at all times.

Buckle up. We see the traffic crash reports daily according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The number of fatalities and serious injuries rise among occupants of vehicles when they are not restrained. Do seat belts guarantee you will not be injured? No. Seat belts do keep you in the vehicle. Air bags are not in the car to be substituted for seat belts. Air bags are designed to work with seat belts and not in place of seat belts. Plus, it is a law in the state of Missouri to wear your seat belt. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained.

Plan Ahead and Allow Extra Time. More people will be on the road, so plan accordingly. When more people are on the road which may be unfamiliar, the likelihood of crashes increase. Plan routes in advance when traveling to unfamiliar destinations. Allow plenty of time since traffic will be heavy.

Observe speed limits. Stay focused on the roadway and be aware of changing traffic patterns due to construction zones and traffic stops. Keeping with the flow of traffic is helpful. Speeding is a factor in over 34 percent of all fatal crashes in Missouri, so slow down.

If You are in a Crash, Have a Plan

Even if your house is less likely to burn down than 50 years ago, you still have a fire-escape plan. Likewise, you should have a plan in place should you be involved in a motor vehicle accident. Again, preparing for the possibility is not “jinxing” yourself. After a crash, emotions and adrenaline run high. If you have an actual plan, then you can immediately go into the steps which assists with the overall coping of a tremendously terrible event.

We have a free phone app—Injury Attorney free iPhone and Droid application It is helpful for car accidents, help finding an Uber in another city as well as tow companies. The app gives you step-by-step instructions of information to gather at the scene (if you are physically able). As well, it has contact information and helpful resources such as tow services in that area, ride share links and cab services.

Steps to take after a car accident

Call the police, immediately. In the few minutes that it takes you to check on other occupants and drivers, you waste valuable time. Someone that is critically injured needs immediate assistance. Waiting several minutes can be difference in life-saving assistance. You call the police for three reasons: One, for emergency assistance for injured persons. Two, once there is a crash, it causes an immediate safety concern for all travelers on the roadways. Three, the police need to document the crash. Failing to call the police/authorities can tank your claim and they are critical to safety for all other drivers and yourself. These steps hinge on the concept that you are not critically injured. Clearly, those who suffer life-threatening injuries cannot be taking photos and exchanging information.

In your statement to officers, give clear statements about you saw and experienced. Officers can only state the facts based on evidence and statements at the scene. Do not get into lengthy explanations with a lot of descriptors and emotion. Officers are there to report the scene of the crash and take factual statements. “Arguing” at this point is not helpful for you or the other driver.

Share and Gather Contact and Insurance Information. Again, if you call the police, they will gather this information on your behalf and take brief statements. If you fail to involve the police, then the other driver may provide false information and you won’t discover it until later. It is very difficult to make a claim if there is no documentation of the crash.

Take photos of the vehicles at the crash scene is helpful. Again, due to safety concerns, vehicles may not be able to remain in the roadway. Taking photos of your vehicle and the other vehicle at the scene of the crash is extremely helpful to your claim.

Seek Medical Treatment. Even if you do not have to be transported to the hospital via ambulance, you will want to follow up with medical treatment. Trauma from a motor vehicle accident can set in within hours and you absolutely must see a doctor. I cannot think of instances where someone regretted seeing a doctor.

Pause before speaking with the insurance company. Stop and think before you start calling insurance companies and making statements. If you are in the ER, don’t try to report a claim or make statements while you are taking medication that may impact your ability to recall events. Waiting a few hours until you gather your bearings. You may want to contact an attorney to discuss the best “next steps” before engaging with any insurance adjuster.

Call an Attorney. We can often best help you the sooner we get involved. From the beginning, an attorney can help you avoid the most common mistakes individuals make after a car accident. Individuals do not make these common mistakes due to ignorance or dishonesty. However, we would much prefer to help you avoid common mistakes.

We represent individuals who have been injured in motor vehicle crashes where they are not at-fault. We assist clients through this difficult process. It is a difficult process if you are injured. If you are hurt, then you will absolutely need an attorney. If you are not hurt, then honestly, you do not need our help. Daily we talk with individuals in all stages of injury. We would much rather share the information on the process so that you can make informed decisions about your claim moving forward.

Call us toll free 1.800.685.3302 or locally 314.276.1681.

Contact Us Today

The Cagle Law Firm serves accident and injury clients throughout St. Louis and the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, including the eastern Missouri and southern Illinois communities. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with your personal injury case, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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