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Written by Guest Author on January 23, 2022 Share on

Steps to Take if You’re Involved in a Car Accident on a Long Road Trip

Traveling far from home can be an exciting experience. Because it’s on the road where you’ll be able to see the landscape unfold as you travel and experience new parts of the country you’ve never seen before.

But as exciting as traveling far from home by car might be, it also comes with a few safety concerns as well. And this is because car accidents can happen anywhere, at any time.

As with all road travel, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for any contingencies. This starts with your packing list, and it also includes keeping a safety kit just in case you’re stranded on the roadside. But you should also know the proper protocols for being involved in an auto accident while far from home as well. 

Here, we’ll detail the steps you should take if you’re involved in a car accident far from home.

Exchange Information

In the event of a fender-bender or a major collision, checking on the safety of all passengers then exchanging personal information such as insurance, tag numbers, driver’s license information, and phone numbers, are the first steps you should take after an accident if possible. But there are also a few things you should not do as well.

First, never accept cash from another motorist immediately after an accident. This can hurt you in court, and this usually means that the other motorist is probably uninsured. 

Second, avoid any conflict. Often after a collision, tempers can flare up and heated confrontations can occur. It’s imperative to stay cool-headed, keep your distance, and wait for the authorities to arrive to handle or diffuse the situation. 

After you’ve exchanged information, if nobody has called the local authorities, this is your next step.

Call the Local Authorities 

Just like when you’re in an accident in your hometown, you’ll want to immediately call the local authorities and have an accident report written up. 

For example, if you’re on a major Interstate or Highway, the state police often cover this territory. If you’re within municipal limits, you should contact the local police or sheriff’s department. Regardless, dialing 911 usually brings you to the nearest local authorities.

Additionally, when you’re on the road far from home, you might not know the lay of the land, nor will you have detailed knowledge of services such as nearby hotels, repair shops, rental services and the like. But local law enforcement will know these details and can assist you.

Law enforcement officials are in their position to help citizens when in need. And in the event of an accident on a cross-country trip, you might need all the help you can get.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t feel like you’ve been injured, having a medical evaluation after an accident is highly recommended. And this is because some injuries may take a day or so to become evident.

For example, whiplash is often not noticed until the day after an accident. And this can be a seriously debilitating condition. As such, it’s important that you receive medical attention after an accident in any case.

Additionally, if you’ve received proper medical attention after an accident, you’ll have documentation of your injuries that you can show to your insurance company or to your attorney in order to help prove your case when you seek compensation. And if you’re able, looking up personal injury attorneys such as those at immediately after you’ve received medical attention is highly recommended. 

Further, in the case that your injuries are severe and you’re hospitalized, keeping a journal after the accident of your symptoms and complications, expenses, and lost wages is highly recommended as well. This can also help to prove your case in the event that you have to go to court. 

Traveling cross-country is supposed to be a memorable experience. But unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen even when we’re far from home. By adhering the the steps listed here, if you’re involved in an accident far from home, you’ll be well-equipped to handle your situation properly.