While we are still very much in the thick of this pandemic, COVID-19 quarantine restrictions are lifting all over the United States. While there was a marked decrease in auto accident during this time as those who could work from home were instructed to stay home, that is changing. Now, as more and more people return to work and their more typical schedules, auto accidents are sharply on the rise.
Why Driving is More Dangerous Now Than Ever
Unfortunately, during the lockdown, two equally dangerous things happened. Those who had to commute to work were able to drive faster due to the decrease in traffic and those who stayed home rather literally forgot how to drive. That is putting it in an extreme way, but driving can be a muscle memory affair for many people. If you stop doing it regularly for several months, you will still know how to drive when you get behind the wheel, but it will feel a little more foreign to you. This causes drivers to be a little slower with usual traffic decisions and more cautious. While defensive driving isn’t necessarily a bad thing, too much caution can indeed cause accidents.
This increase in more cautious and unsure drivers definitely does not mesh well with the drivers that took up speeding when they were the only ones on the road during quarantine. The old adage “speed kills” has never been more true. As the road clogs up again, accidents are happening more and at higher speeds, making them more fatal.
What to Do If You Are In An Auto Accident
While the only thing you can do is try to stay safe as everyone re-acclimates themselves to the rules of the road, you do want to know what to do in the event of an accident just in case. If you are in an accident, follow these simple rules:
- Stop– Even minor fender-benders require you to stop. Never drive away from an accident.
- Call the Police– This is obvious if someone is hurt. However, if you will need to file an insurance claim, you will want to call the police to file a police report.
- Document– As soon as you can, write down the series of events as clearly and as factually as you can. You will also want to take pictures of the crash scene, the damage to your vehicle, and any injuries that occurred.
- Visit a Doctor– Even if you are not injured at the scene, injuries like whiplash may only manifest the next day after the adrenaline has worn off. You will want to make sure everything is alright after an accident with a doctor and have it documented as soon as possible so you can get it covered.
- Contact Your Insurance– Many accidents are handled by just filing a claim with your insurance or the insurance holder of the other party. You will want to make initial contact before moving onto the final step.
- Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer– In cases of just vehicle damage, usually just accepting insurance coverage is all you need to do. However, if anyone was injured or you just want to make sure you are getting everything you are entitle to from the accident, you will want to contact a personal injury lawyer. They can help look over the offers to make sure everything is fair and aboveboard.
While auto accidents can be complicated, following the above can take a lot of the guesswork out of it. If you have been in a car accident on the post-COVID lockdown roads and need help figuring everything out,contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can help you get the accident settlement you need to heal.