Road trip over Labor Day? Drive smart, know what to do if things go bump
If you plan a road trip over Labor Day weekend, you will quickly discover millions of other drivers had the same idea. Labor Day, the “last hurrah” holiday before summer ends and the school year enters full swing, is when people take a vacation break close to home, and they typically drive to get there.
Don’t Text & Drive
Roadways are for sharing, and some people share better than others. Likely, you’ve been behind a driver who takes their half of the road out of the middle. Chances are that driver is talking on a cell phone or texting while driving. Smart drivers don’t do either. Florida passed a law to ban texting while driving. It’s a secondary offense, meaning drivers are stopped for another driving offense first. You’re 23 times more likely to crash if you text and drive, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Put the phone down—please.
Don’t Drink & Drive
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown on drunk driving goes on over Labor Day weekend. Law enforcement is out in force to get impaired drivers off the road. NHTSA says one person dies in the U.S. every 53 minutes in drunk driving crashes; more than one-third of the deaths are not the drunk driver.
If a Traffic Accident Occurs
If things go bump for you on road, the first step is to stop the car and find out if anyone is injured. The second is to call the police or Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). Do this now: Program *FHP (*347) into your cell phone. Use this number to report traffic crashes, or any dangerous or suspicious activity. You’ll be connected to the nearest FHP communications center, and the call is free.
Know what to do at the accident scene. A key tip is to write everything down—names, license plate number, make and model of each car, insurance information, and the names and badges of police officers at the scene. Keeping an old-fashioned notebook and pen in the glove box is handy for this.
And, if you have to file a claim for a car crash, call your insurer as soon as possible, no matter who is at fault for the crash. You’ll want to know whether you have coverage for the loss—and your insurance representative can guide you through the process.
Have fun. Drive smart.