Traveling is exciting, and many individuals and families are doing it this year when they couldn’t last year. The pandemic restricted the travel industry significantly, almost making it grind to a complete halt.
Now, with many individuals fully vaccinated and many others on their way to that status, this summer should be a busy one for travel.
If you do plan on heading out with your family, either for a vacation or maybe to visit some relatives you have not seen in a while, you’re probably thrilled about that. You need to be careful, though. If you’re driving, and you’re in unfamiliar territory, that could make a car wreck more likely.
Let’s talk about car wrecks on vacation and how they can differ from ones in your hometown.
The Ways Out-of-Town Accidents Differ from In-Town Ones
For this article, we’ll only talk about car accidents that happen if you’re in a different city or state rather than a foreign country. Let’s say you went a couple of states over to visit relatives, and you hit another car.
If you caused a car accident, that’s unsettling, wherever it takes place. However, it’s more likely you will have an accident when you’re away from all your old haunts because you might not know the traffic patterns, streets, and so forth.
Maybe you’re using your phone or your car’s built-in GPS, and it either confused you or gave you some poor navigational directions. These devices are not foolproof, so these things do happen sometimes.
If you hit another car and you’re not in your home city, you’ll have to exchange information with the driver, just as you would anywhere. You’ll need to give the authorities all the relevant information when they show up as well.
What’s different is that you might have to come back to this city or state to deal with the car accident later. You might have to show up in court either later during that trip, or else you might have to come back to that city or state days or week afterward if you have to make an in-person courtroom appearance.
That might happen if the other driver brings a civil action against you. They may do that if your account of what happened was different than theirs. They might also sue you for more money if you had something less than a robust insurance policy, and it can’t handle all the damage you did.
You Might Be Driving a Rental Car at the Time
The other way out-of-town accidents often differ from in-town ones is that you might have rented a car once you got to your destination. If you flew to a different city or state and rented a car for your use while you were there, this might be the scenario with which you have to deal.
If you rented a car and hit another driver, you’ll need to look at whether you got a full, comprehensive collision policy when you rented the vehicle. If you did, it can probably pay for the damages. If you didn’t, you might have to pay for the damage out of pocket, both for the rental vehicle and the one you hit.
This shows that it’s always better to pay for as much insurance on the rental car as you can get. It could mean paying a few more dollars at the rental agency, but it can save you a ton of money if you hit someone else’s vehicle.
Go Through the Process as Best You Can
Hitting another car while on vacation, or one hitting you, can upset you and your family. Some drivers walk away from accidents with PTSD, even if they didn’t sustain any physical harm. You might have to see a therapist before you can continue with your life afterward.
If you did hit another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a cyclist when you’re in an unfamiliar city, the one thing you should never do is drive away. You might feel like you can get away with it if you drive quickly and get out of sight, but that’s always the wrong move. Someone probably spotted the license plate number, or a traffic camera might have picked it up.
It’s best to exchange information with the other driver and wait for the authorities. Facing the music after a car accident is part of being a responsible adult, whether you’re on vacation or a block from your home.