Oh, the fun and excitement of the old fashioned, American-family road trip!
The thrill of the open road! The constant refrain of “are we there yet?” from the back seat.
Whether you have your wife and kids packed in like sardines in the family coupe, or you’ve planned out the perfect family RV Trip and are rolling in comfort and style, the fun and adventure of a family vacation can come with a lot of stress, especially if you get in a car accident.
Here are some tips on coping if your time away from home is disrupted by a car accident.
Worry for your child can cause you to make rash decisions, so it is important to remain calm during an accident. After the collision, quickly assess to make sure you are ok to move. Then check on everyone else in the car. Encourage children to be quiet and calm while you’re making sure everyone is ok.
After the Accident
Many people aren’t certain exactly what they should do after they get into an accident. You will get out of the car if it is safe to do so, try to move the car out of traffic, and go about seeing if the other driver is okay. There will be times when moving the car is not possible or safe. In these cases, making sure that your accident is visible and making it easy for others to avoid is a key factor.
If there is any significant damage or anyone is hurt, the police must be called. While waiting for them to arrive, be sure to document the accident by taking photos and going over the scene in your head so you can relay it accurately in the police report. If talking to the other people involved in the accident, be sure not to apologize or say anything that can be taken as accepting blame. It may be used against you later. So do what you can to get everything wrapped up quickly, and don’t say anything that will make things more difficult for you in the long run.
You’ll want to call your insurance pretty quickly so they know what is going on. If you are in a rental, you’ll need to talk to the rental company’s insurance agency as well as your own. Depending on whose fault the accident is, you may not have too many issues, but since you’ll be relaying the incident to multiple parties, you will probably be cursing multiple insurance agencies and car accident lawyers by the end of the day.
Getting on with Vacation
The worst part about car accidents (when no one is hurt) is that they consume a lot of time. You have to make a lot of phone calls to get things sorted out, and you may have to survive without a car for a short period of time.
If you’re on vacation, this can really throw a wrench in the works. It is important to put on a smile for the kids and make the best of things. If you have to wait around in the hotel or in rental company offices, try to come up with games for the kids to play. Who knows, you may be able to create unforeseen memories out of this extra downtime.
If you were on a road trip, you likely already have car-friendly activities. If these are getting old, see if you can make up a new game. You just might create a new family favorite! This will also give you something to focus on while paperwork is being processed and things are being figured out. You can also look at alternate activities if your transportation situation remains complicated.
A car accident is a major inconvenience, but it doesn’t have to ruin your family vacation. By keeping your calm and rolling with the punches, you can still create memories you’ll never forget.