Car accidents are never fun, but they can be especially difficult on a road trip, especially if your summer getaway is in another state. Crossing borders may not seem like a big deal when you’re heading out, but if you are in a crash far from home, we’re here to help.

Prepare for your Road Trip

In addition to the usual auto maintenance like oil changes and checking your fluids, wipers, and tires, you can prepare for the possibility of an accident so it’s not so overwhelming if it happens.

Review your Auto Insurance Policy

Double check that your policy covers you in the places you’re traveling. Usually, the 48 contiguous states are included, but if not, your insurance company can tell you what you need to do to maintain coverage on your road trip.

Review Traffic Laws

If you’re crossing borders, you may be subject to new traffic laws. Before you leave, do a quick search on Google for traffic laws where you’ll be driving so you know what might be different.

If you are in an Accident in Another State…

Don’t panic (too much). Accidents happen, and you’re at least a little prepared for this.

Is everyone OK?

As in any state, first, make sure nobody is hurt. If you think you or another person may be, call 9-1-1 (in the United States).

Record the Accident

As the out-of-towner, it won’t be as easy for you to get records and information about your accident later, so do it thoroughly now.

  • As always, take pictures of what happened.
  • Write down your version of events.
  • Get the contact information of everyone involved in the accident, especially the other driver.
  • Don’t forget their license plate number and vehicle make and model.
  • If there are witnesses, get their information too!

Is your Vehicle Safe to Drive?

When you’re driving long distances, especially with passengers and lots of weight in your vehicle, it’s important to make sure it’s in good driving condition. You definitely don’t want a second crash or a road trip breakdown.

Even if you can’t see any damage, it’s best to take your car to a local collision repair shop. Tell them what happened and ask for a professional opinion regarding the safety of driving your vehicle.

If you prefer to use your repair shop at home, ask the local technician if it’s safe for you to drive back.