By Japanese_car_accident.jpg: Shuets Udonoderivative work: Torsodog (Japanese_car_accident.jpg) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsThe Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) recently issued its top guidelines for accidents and road emergencies. In this post, we will review their advice and add Stillman and Friedland’s legal and commonsense dimension.
THP breaks down their advice into ten points, but we can summarize them into a few key points you need to consider while on the road. As the THP points out, there were over 181,000 crashes statewide in 2017. This means the effective accident rate is one in eight drivers yearly. Obviously, your chance of being involved in accident increases over the longer term, so it is best to be prepared.
• Let’s have a look at THP’s first point, which is to call *THP (*847) and report the accident. State and local officers help to aid the injured, and manage traffic to prevent further injury. Whether you alert THP or the local police, this step is crucial in getting both immediate aid, and also an accident report establishing who is at fault. You will need an accident report to file insurance claims. Exchange information with the other party to the accident so you have this information for your claim. If you do not yet have law enforcement in your speed dial or contacts, take minute or two to enter emergency numbers so you can immediately access them.
• Subsequent points discuss the importance of safely getting yourself and your vehicle out of the roadway, and into a safe area. Always act with caution when moving or exiting your vehicle. You have up to 48 hours to get your car towed in the event that it is not drivable, so add a reputable garage and towing service to your contacts, if they are not in there already. If your car is drivable, use flashers and signs to alert other drivers that your car is immobile.
• We would like to add that, obviously, these tips apply only if you are not severely injured. We advise that anyone who has had a head, back or neck trauma follow the advice of emergency responders and accept ambulance transport if needed. It is best to get a medical assessment soon—if not immediately—following the crash. You can “tough it out” while in shock and worsen your injuries through neglect. As we have stated before, this type of head and spine trauma may present days and weeks after the accident. If you do not seek treatment in the aftermath of the crash, proving causality will make your case much more difficult.
• THP also reminds us to be considerate. If emergency vehicles are approaching, pull over to let them pass quickly while seconds count. Of course some people are just not considerate, and even worse, may be prone to road rage. Never get into an argument or engage with a road raging lunatic. Instead, pass on a car description and plate number if possible to the THP. Giving their location and direction will aid in catching them. We guarantee that you are not the only target of their aggression, so help out by having THP solve the problem for everyone.
• Finally, additional preparedness items include a First Aid kit in every car. Make sure that you have a phone charger, and keep your phone charged so you can use it if you need it. As much as we know the dangers of using a phone while driving, it is a godsend in emergencies.
We always prefer to see everyone safe!
Because we care…