Scenic Summer Drive. Mountain Road and Sunset Scenery From the Speeding Car. Scenic Road

Summer driving isn’t just about beating the heat, it’s important to watch out for pedestrians (especially children) and bicyclists. This month, we also offer tips on what to do in the unfortunate event of an accident… plus, how to avoid getting struck from behind.

Summer Driving

  • School is out, so be especially alert for children at all hours of the day.
  • Warmer weather also means more pedestrians and bicyclists, so be careful.
  • Keep your car cool for your passengers’ comfort. Don’t wait for them to request air conditioning, it takes time to reach a comfortable temperature. New York City buses and subways are air conditioned and cost much less than a ride in an FHV or taxi. Fuel costs will rise when using your air conditioner, but the higher gratuities you receive should more than pay for it.
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature in your car to reduce your risk of succumbing to road rage. Spending hours in a hot car can make people tired and irritable.
  • Be courteous to all the tourists. They rely on you for helpful hints and information and provide a tremendous boost to the City’s economy.

NEVER Leave the Scene of an Accident Prematurely

  • If you get in any accident – no matter how insignificant or minor it may seem – DO NOT leave the scene without exchanging information with everyone involved. Many uninjured pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists will say they are okay at the accident scene, only to file a claim after the fact.
  • Call the police to the scene any time a pedestrian asks you to do so. If you leave the scene of an accident with an alleged pedestrian injury you may be arrested and charged with a crime. It’s better to spend time at the scene, rather than dealing with the hassles later.

In the Event of an Accident

  • Always take pictures of the cars involved and of the scene of the accident (close up and from a distance). Save all photos and videos you take at the scene and provide them to your insurance broker.
  • Always notify your broker or insurance company as soon as possible.
  • Always (when conditions permit) move to the shoulder or a “safe area” to prevent further damages or injuries.
  • Remember the 3 C’s when offering your version of the accident: Calm, courteous and consistent.
  • Always obtain complete information from all involved (other drivers and passengers).
  • Always complete the accident report on the scene of the accident. Be sure to obtain all responding police or emergency personnel badge and ID numbers.
  • Always obtain the names of witnesses, including addresses and phone numbers.
  • Never “make a deal” for damages at the scene and never offer to pay for anything, even if you think you are at fault.
  • Never leave the scene, even in a minor accident, especially if a pedestrian is claiming an injury, regardless of what happened.
  • Never administer aid unless you are licensed to do so. Instead, call 911.

Rear-End Collisions

  • Rear-end collisions are caused by drivers tailgating, and not maintaining safe following distances. Always maintain a safe following distance and add time and distance when you are tired or stressed, or if the road is wet and slippery.
  • Always anticipate that a taxi or FHV may stop suddenly and without warning to respond to a street hail.
  • Do not proceed when the traffic signal turns green without scanning the entire area first, to be sure vehicles are not making unsafe last-minute turns.
  • Always be aware of surrounding vehicles. Do not fall victim to insurance fraud, which can occur when a vehicle in front of you stops for no apparent reason, and the vehicle next to you (conspiring with the vehicle in front of you) prevents you from taking evasive action. Always try to keep a clear lane on all sides when traveling on the highway.
  • Texting or using a cell phone while driving may cause a driver to go slow and cause a rear-end collision. Keep your distance.
Article by Bertram Merling

Bertram Merling is the Loss Control Coordinator for the Hereford Insurance Company.

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