Today, many people find themselves getting a great deal of use out of their car for regular basis. This can extend beyond the normal commute to work, as some jobs require inter-state travel as a part of the business. This is to say nothing of people who have to travel outside their state for vacation or other reasons, and can even extend to driving in foreign countries. This last statement leads to a rather frightening fact—that motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of healthy Americans abroad. Even if you survive, car accident injuries can lead to lost income and permanent damage depending on their severity. Be sure that you know how to handle them.
Knowing The Rules
The first thing you need to do as an inter-state driver or even a foreign driver is to know exactly how far your insurance will carry you. The reason this comes up is that if you cause an accident, you are financially responsible for injuries or damages of others. The good news is that in most states, you will be able to get along just fine with the state insurance for where you live, and many will even cover you if you choose to drive in Canada. If you have any questions, call your insurance agent. This will likely not apply if you permanently move, however.
Equally important though, especially if you travel through different states often, is knowing the various different traffic laws. If you do get in an accident in another state because of something that you don’t know, there’s no guarantee you won’t be held responsible. The same mindset applies to driving in foreign countries, but the stakes are often higher. For one, the rules may be more different than what you are used to, especially in developing countries. If enforcement is lax, things may be even more chaotic. Your best source of info will be the U.S. State Department’s page on foreign traffic safety.
In the U.S., rural roads have been proven to be home to the most accidents overall, so be careful when driving through states where these are common, like North Dakota, Montana, and Mississippi. However, the most amount of fatal accidents occurs in heavily populated states like Texas and Florida.
Proving who is negligent in a car accident can be difficult enough to do in your home state, let alone if you get in an accident in another country. In the case of foreign accidents, you may be at the mercy of the laws there, and are best served doing your homework on how to react. For inter-state travel, though, things are a bit easier, though you will still want to find a skilled legal professional to help you get compensated for your injuries.
Before you think that it may not be worth the trouble, take into consideration the potential effects of lasting injuries, especially to the back or head. These may disqualify you from certain jobs, and if you were traveling for business at the time of the accident, you may no longer be able to sustain that lifestyle. In addition, there is a mental and emotional toll associated with long recovery periods that sometimes gets ignored.
Being a frequent traveler increases the risk of being involved in an accident, and hopefully, you are not responsible. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you may need to cope with damages to your vehicles and the many possible injuries to your body. However, navigating the different rules where you travel can be difficult, making it all the more important to keep informed and be ready to find a skilled legal professional to help you should the worst happen.