Pennsylvania moved into the yellow phase statewide on Friday – much to many residents’ and business owner’s relief! After three long months of the stay-at-home order, many are itching to get out of the house, back to work, and back to normal. Part of those plans is getting back on the road more often, as well, bringing a natural increase in the number of cars on the road than what we’ve become used to.
Because it is still early in the reopening phase, traffic volumes will not be fully back to normal for several more weeks – but with many people’s driving skills somewhat rusty from the multi-month break of their daily commute, coupled with the fact that accidents can happen at any time – safety on the road should be a priority in drivers’ new routines.
The following tips can help keep you and those around you safe when returning to the road:
- Give your car a thorough inspection before heading out. Periods of inactivity in vehicles can lead to problems such as built up debris, flat or low air pressure tires, animal nests, headlight, taillight, or blinker outages, or something more serious. Make sure fluids are topped off and you are up to date on your oil changes. It may be worthwhile to keep the radio turned down on your first outing to listen for any odd noises that may not have been present prior to quarantine and take it in for a quick look over by your maintenance professional.
- Plan ahead. Look into your normal commute route to ensure there is not construction that would delay you or catch you by surprise.
- Remain calm and stay patient. After being locked up in the house for so long, away from others, it can be easy to succumb to small irritants on the road or otherwise. Keeping a level head will help you keep your focus and will combat any potential road rage incidents. While you are just getting back into the swing of things, remember others are, too. Keep consideration for nervous drivers, or new drivers who are reacquainting themselves.
- Don’t drive distracted. It is easy in our everyday lives to be distracted while driving – whether phones, infotainment systems, or eating and drinking beg for our attention, it is important to always remain focused on the road – especially when you may not be used to driving longer distances due to quarantine.
If you do find yourself the victim of an accident – follow these tips to ensure your interests are protected.
Call the police
A police report is a necessary document for any personal injury claim arising from an auto accident. This will not only contain information regarding how the accident occurred and whether injuries were sustained, but also witness information that may be valuable in future litigation
Seek medical treatment
If you sustained an injury in the accident, even if you are not sure whether it is serious, you should seek immediate medical treatment and truthfully describe your symptoms to the person who treats you. They may take X-Rays, MRIs, or other diagnostic tests to determine whether you need treatment. It is common to receive a “sprain and strain” diagnosis, which the emergency room physicians may say should improve with rest and over the counter anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen. Hopefully, you will improve. However, if you continue to have problems after the initial visit, you should consider following up with your regular doctor or a specialist to see if the injury is more severe than the original diagnosis would indicate.
Detail the Accident
After a crash, you may have a vivid recollection of exactly what happened, or you may not recall the events. Since memories may fade over time, it is helpful to draw the road or intersection where the accident occurred, including the position of the vehicles and any traffic lights or signs. If you recall what speed you were traveling, whether you saw the other driver on a cell phone, or anything else that you think may be important, writing it down can help refresh your recollection later on.
Call Your Insurance Agent
Your car insurance will likely cover your initial medical bills, up to your coverage limit. You may also have wage loss and property damage coverage. It is important to contact your insurance company to open the claim and provide them with whatever information they need.
Obtaining repair estimates is not only helpful for your auto damage claim, but it also supports your claim regarding the severity of the accident and the location of impact. If you were rear ended at a traffic light, thousands of dollars in repairs for the back end of your vehicle could be persuasive.
Call The Pisanchyn Law Firm
Depending on the circumstances of your car accident, you or your loved one could recover compensation for all that you have endured. This area of law is very complicated; there are exceptions and technicalities that if you do not know the law can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is why it is imperative you consult with our experienced Pennsylvania car accident attorneys at The Pisanchyn Law Firm to guide you through your claim.
Please, call our Pennsylvania accident attorneys toll free at 1-800-444-5309 for a free consultation.