Traveling in a Car: Top Legal Tips To Know Before You Start a Long Drive

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There’s nothing quite like the feeling of packing your car and embarking on a long road trip with your friends and family. Whether you’re going on a self-drive holiday or a short weekend trip, traveling in a car is fun – you get to do some sight-seeing while going to your destination, and if you’re traveling with other people you can even play some classic road-trip games (who hasn’t played I Spy on long drives, or tried to make up their own radio station?). However, as fun as driving is, you should always remember to drive responsibly, and in order to do that, it’s important to know the key legal tips before you start your long drive.

1. Know Which Steps To Take In Case Of An Accident

Having a prepare for the worst and hope for the best mentality is often recommended when you’re behind the wheel. As a truck accident attorney in Houston notes, these types of accidents can have life-altering consequences, so knowing what to do if you’re ever in one is extremely important. There are a few steps to keep in mind when it comes to this. While they can vary slightly depending on your circumstances, in general, the key things to do after a car accident are:

  • Seek medical assistance – even if you don’t feel like you have any serious injuries, it’s important that you get checked up. Not only will it ensure your health and safety, but it could also be beneficial in case of an insurance claim.
  • Report the accident to the police – while this is not always necessary, especially in small fender benders, it’s often a good idea to call law enforcement so you have an official record of what happened.
  • Call your insurance company – after reporting the accident and consulting with a medical professional about your injuries, contact your insurance company and inform them of the incident.
  • Hire a lawyer – if the accident caused you serious injury, emotional trauma, or substantial damage to your car, your best bet is to contact a lawyer who can help you file your claim.

High-stress situations such as traffic accidents often leave people confused and unsure of what to do at the moment. That’s why it’s important to think about it beforehand and figure out the proper steps to take.

2. Never Drive Without Car Insurance

While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, insuring your vehicle is one of the most essential steps you can take before setting out on any long road trip. In fact, in some places it’s your legal obligation to have car insurance – if you don’t, the consequences can be severe. On top of that, it’s quite affordable (the average yearly cost is around $800), which makes it an investment worth making. If a cop pulls you over and you need to show your insurance, or if you run into an accident and need to file a claim, not having it is only going to make things more complicated for everyone involved. Apart from that, in case it does come to an accident, having insurance can help establish your character as someone that’s responsible and reliable.

3. Consider Travel Health Insurance

Even if your vehicle is insured, you need to make sure that you’re protected as well. Many travel health insurance policies cover accidents that occur on the road, so before setting out on a long drive, it’s a good idea to check what your plan covers and whether or not it would be beneficial for you. Of course, having this kind of insurance while traveling is a smart move in general. If you’re crossing country borders in your car, you want to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that even if you do get sick, you’ll be taken care of. The last thing you want is to have a medical emergency and have to pay for it all because you didn’t have the right coverage.

4. Traffic Laws Might Differ From State To State

When you’re traveling in another state, it’s always wise to do a little research beforehand and familiarize yourself with the traffic laws. You need to know what speed limits are enforced, whether or not there are any toll roads located along your route, etc. This way, you’ll avoid getting pulled over for an infraction that might cost you time, money, or even your license. Generally speaking, it’s best to observe the local speed limit guidelines – if the law enforcement doesn’t seem to enforce them strictly in a specific location, you might be tempted to drive over the speed limit. Getting to know the laws of the place you’re visiting, including the traffic laws, might be considered due diligence in some places – and failure to do so could add to your problems if something does happen.

Even though driving in a car is fun, you should still remember the legal tips that can help prevent problems. Always have a plan for what to do in worst-case scenarios, have car insurance with you when you set out on your long drive, consider travel health insurance policies that could prove beneficial to you, and keep in mind different traffic laws depending on where you’re traveling to. By being aware of these things ahead of time, you can set out on your long drive with excitement and confidence.