Thanksgiving is one of the most active travel holidays of the year. Last year, AAA estimated that over 55 million people would travel for the holiday. This year the company was estimating that 50 million would be on the road, but that estimate has changed. Due to the pandemic, AAA estimates a 10 percent drop in Thanksgiving travel if not more. However, you should still prepare for the possibility of a Thanksgiving car accident.
The National Safety Council has seen an increase in fatal traffic accidents despite less traffic due to COVID-19. This means that Thanksgiving travelers need to be extra cautious as they drive out to see friends and family. If you or a family member gets into a Thanksgiving car accident, there are a few things you should not do, or else you risk making the situation worse.
Three Things that Make a Thanksgiving Car Accident Worse
1. Forgetting the Paperwork
You have just been in a car wreck, you have called the authorities and now you are waiting for them to arrive. If you are able, this is the time to exchange information with the other party involved in the accident. You will need their name, address, phone number and insurance information, including their policy number and coverage provider. Do not forget to write down the other vehicle’s license plate number. The other driver is also going to need the same information from you.
If you can sit down on your own and figure out what happened, this will also help you after a crash. The police will need to know in what direction you were traveling, when the other vehicle collided with you, and what you were doing at the time. This will help the police make a detailed report. Also, if you have a camera or a smartphone with a camera, take lots of pictures. This documentation will help you deal with insurance companies, or it could become evidence if you have to go to court.
2. Getting too Emotional
There is a lot of chaos after a car wreck. However, it is important to stay calm. Do not start yelling at the other driver or blaming them for what happened. Outbursts like that could lead to a road rage scenario. Instead, ask the other driver if they are alright and try to deescalate the situation. Also, do not apologize or say that the accident was your fault. You could be held liable for the crash, even if an investigation proves what happened was out of your control.
3. Leaving the Scene
Leaving the scene of an accident is not only ill-advised, it is illegal. Even if you think the damage was minimal and no one was hurt, you should stop. Check on the other driver and their passengers, then contact the authorities. Wait until those authorities arrive and be sure they get your side of the story. If you leave beforehand, the police could declare the crash a hit and run. You could even be charged with failure to render aid if someone was hurt or fatally injured during the crash.
A car accident is never easy to deal with, and it can be even harder when you are rushing to get to a relative’s Thanksgiving Day feast. Please be safe out there and remember to wear a mask and maintain social distance. Do not neglect the details or else you could spend the rest of your holidays cleaning up legal problems or recovering in the hospital. If you have more questions about your auto accident, our Connecticut personal injury attorneys may have the answers you need. Call us at (860)253-2729 for a free consultation to find out if we can help you.