CHICAGO - According to AAA more Americans will hit the roads or take to the skies this year for the last holiday weekend of the summer. With the increase number of people on the roads, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is offering some travel tips help keep this holiday as stress free as possible.
“While insurers will be there for you following an auto accident to help in the recovery there are several things you can do to help the claims process as smoothly as possible if an accident does occur,” said Robert Passmore, PCI’s assistant vice president of personal lines policy.
“It’s always important to prepare, so before you head out this holiday weekend it’s a good idea to get your car checked out and make sure it’s fit for the trip,” added Passmore.
You also want to make sure your insurance cards are up to date and handy in case you need to report an accident or need road side assistance. “Several companies now have apps where you can have your insurance cards right on your phone. In fact, 43 states have enacted laws that allow you to show proof of coverage on your smartphone,” said Passmore.
If you are in an accident make sure to first contact the police, and then call your insurance company. Remember that the safety of all involved should be the first priority.
PCI’s Labor Day Driving Tips:
Whether you’re taking a summer get-away or just running errands around town, we encourage you to buckle up, drive safely and try to be prepared for those who may not. Seat belts save lives and help prevent injuries. Also, make sure kids are in the proper car or booster seats.
Plan ahead and allow extra travel time. With more people on the roads, often driving in unfamiliar territory, the potential for a traffic crash increases. We encourage motorists to plan their routes in advance when traveling to new destinations, be patient, and allow for extra travel time.
Observe speed limits, including lower speeds in work zones. Stay focused on the road and aware of changing traffic patterns caused by construction. Please be cautious of the construction workers themselves, who are often in close proximity to the highway – and at great risk.
Avoid distracted driving. When the entire family is traveling in the car, the opportunity for distraction is multiplied. Remember to put the phone down, and never text while driving. Be careful when eating on the run, as lunch can be just as distracting as a cell phone. Buckle up or secure pets in the back of the car.
Beware of crash taxes. Although they have been banned or limited in several states, many cities, counties and fire districts will charge the at-fault driver for emergency response costs in an auto accident. Fees range from $100 to over $2,000 for response services. The average cost is $200. A typical insurance policy does not cover the cost of a fire truck responding to an accident.
Have a plan for roadside assistance. If an accident occurs, be wary of unscrupulous towing companies. Have the phone number for your insurer or a roadside assistance program ready so you know who to call. Some towing companies take advantage of drivers after an accident and you could find yourself facing excessive fees or complications recovering your car from the tow yard.
Update your proof of insurance. Before hitting the road, make sure to replace any expired insurance identification cards in the event you need to prove you have insurance during a traffic stop.