Thanksgiving is always a happy holiday to celebrate. We all get together with family and friends and enjoy a wonderful and satisfying meal. While we all can’t wait for some time off to spend with our families and friends, most people don’t understand how dangerous traveling can be during the holiday.
No one ever expects to be hurt in a motor vehicle accident, especially during the holidays. But, statistics show that accidents and injuries increase over the holdiays. This is why you should, at least, know what to do after a car accident in order to protect yourself.
Thanksgiving Crash and Injury Estimates and Statistics Are Alarming
AAA projects that nearly 50 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over the Thanksgiving holiday. This projection is an increase of one million travelers compared to last year. It is anticipated that 90% of them will travel by motor vehicle. With all of those cars, trucks and buses on the highways across the country comes an increase in estimated motor vehicle crashes and injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the overall U.S. mortality rate annually spikes around Thanksgiving. In fact, in 2016 the National Safety Council estimated that nearly 500 traffic deaths could occur over the holiday weekend. They also estimated the number of nonfatal disabling injuries that will result from crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period was over 50,000.
Some reasons for the anticipated increase in crashes and injuries include the amount of vehicles on the highways, drivers traveling unfamiliar roads, traveling at nighttime in the dark, and, of course, drivers that have had too much to drink. Sometimes you can’t avoid an accident. If you happen to be involved in a crash, below you will find some helpful tips to follow if you are in a car crash.
Tips to Remember if You Are Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident
With the anticipated increase in travel, traffic and estimated crashes this Thanksgiving, you should know what to do after a motor vehicle accident. Here are a few important steps to follow after being involved or injured in a crash:
- First, make sure your vehicle is secure and check to see if anyone is injured. If anyone is hurt, call 911 right away to get medical attention. Remember, all things aside, safety and care are the most important matters to consider in a motor vehicle accident.
- Next, you should take a moment and gather your thoughts. Make sure you control your emotions. A lot of times it is easy to get upset and begin yelling at the other driver for causing the crash. This doesn’t help matters. You will need to remember exactly what happened because the other driver may tell a different story about how the accident happened.
- A very important tip to remember is to take pictures of the scene. Photos should be taken of all vehicles involved and the highway and traffic signs/signals. Pictures can be extremely helpful in a personal injury case, especially if the other driver or witnesses tell a different story about how the accident happened. If you are hurt and unable to take photos yourself, ask someone around you if they could take the pictures for you.
- Be sure to collect witnesses’ names and contact information. Witnesses will sometimes be very important to a personal injury case. They will allow you or your attorney to get an impartial view of how the accident happened and dispel the other driver’s version of how the accident happened, if they blame you.
- Get the other driver’s information. You should get their full name, address, phone number, insurance company, and license plate number. This is particularly important to record if 911 is not called. If 911 was called, the motor vehicle crash report (or police report) will usually record this information, but it can’t hurt to get the information yourself.
- Following the accident, be sure to report the accident to your auto insurance company. Your auto insurance coverage provides Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP” benefits. PIP benefits are available to pay a certain amount of medical bills and lost wages after a car accident.
- You should always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney after being injured in a car accident. An experienced lawyer will know what steps to take toward protecting you and seeking the maximum financial compensation you deserve for the injuries you suffered and damages you incurred in the crash.