There is no question that it’s important to drive defensively and to otherwise be proactive in trying to stay safe while driving during the holidays. However, it isn’t always possible to avoid a crash. Even the most safety-conscious motorists can be struck by others who are distracted, impaired or aggressive.
Dealing with a car accident is stressful at any time, but the winter holidays can add an extra layer of complexity to an already challenging situation. In Georgia, where winter weather can be unpredictable, it’s important to know how to respond effectively if you are involved in a car crash during this season.
Tips to keep in mind
Immediately after an accident, assess whether anyone is injured. Call 911 if there are any injuries, and don’t attempt to move anyone who is hurt unless there’s an immediate danger, like a fire. Once you’ve ensured that everyone’s safety and called for help if necessary, start documenting the accident scene by taking photos and video. This documentation can be crucial for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.
Then exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s). Be sure to get their name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, license plate number and insurance company details.
In Georgia, you’re required to report any car accident that results in injury, death, or property damage over $500. A police report can be invaluable in determining fault and facilitating the insurance claims process.
Finally, keep in mind that sometimes injuries from car accidents are not immediately apparent, especially with the adrenaline rush that often follows such incidents. It’s wise to seek medical attention even if you feel fine, as some injuries may only become evident hours or days later. You can seek legal guidance and explore your rights and options under the law once you’re medically stable. Nothing is more important than your health.
Remember, being prepared and informed can significantly ease the stress of being involved in a crash during the holidays. If you have teen drivers at home, make sure to share these tips with them so that they’re prepared with the basics of what to do as well.