Food, festivities, family, friends – all reasons why most people think that the winter holidays are the best time of the year. But in order to prepare, millions of New Yorkers leave their homes and make the trek to local stores to stock up on the necessary supplies. Unfortunately, shopping can be quite dangerous and car accidents are common.
A Left Turn Gone Wrong
It was around 11 a.m. when an elderly woman driving a Ford Focus arrived at a shopping center on Central Park Ave. She had to make a left hand turn into the center in order to get into the parking lot, however, she miscalculated the distance between her car and oncoming traffic.
Her Focus hit a Chevy Tahoe that was driving in the opposite direction and the two vehicles sustained serious damage from the impact. Witnesses called emergency responders to the scene where they had to cut her from the car. Despite their quick action and the medical care that she received, the driver was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital less than an hour later.
The driver of the other vehicle also sustained injuries which thankfully, were not life-threatening.
Why Are The Holidays So Dangerous?
The days around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are some of the worst times of year to be on the road. But why is it riskier than normal?
Eggnog, wine, beer, and cocktails are all part of the traditional holiday meals. While there is nothing wrong with raising a glass in celebration, it is very easy to imbibe far too much and then get behind the wheel. It’s important to always have a designated driver or to make the decision to stay until the driver has sobered up so that everyone on the road is kept safe.
Singing carols, children crying in the backseat, and attempting to apply last minute touches to makeup are all forms of distraction that can pull a driver’s eyes from the road.
Between preparing for the celebration and actually taking part, every holiday is exhausting and it’s always tempting to stay up late, visiting with friends and family that you don’t get to see regularly. But studies have shown that driving while overtired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
While every driver understands the dangers of driving during inclement, the pressure of making it to the family dinner is immense and many decide to brave rain, snow and ice in order to get there.
These conditions, combined with a huge increase in the number of passenger vehicles, buses, and trucks shipping presents on the road, are what lead to an increase in vehicle accidents.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been In An Accident?
The moments after an accident are always shocking and disorienting. But it’s important to remember that simply exchanging insurance information may not be enough to keep you and your loved ones safe. Once everyone has received the medical care that they need, after an accident you should:
Contact The Police
Be sure to ask for a copy of the report that the police officer creates. This will show for the record who was at fault, the details of the accident, and the damage that was sustained.
Get A Check-Up
Even if you have been seen by EMTs or a doctor at the emergency room, it is very important that you follow up with your regular doctor. There are many types of injury, typically relating to the nerves and muscles, that may not present until hours, days, or even weeks after the accident.
Contact An Attorney
While this might seem like an extreme step, it isn’t. It’s shocking how often the victims of a car accident find out in the weeks and months after an accident that the coverage offered by their insurance company simply won’t be enough to pay the bills. Working with an attorney from the very beginning can ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Attorneys can also determine if you are eligible for a car accident lawsuit. Insurance, even if the payments are appropriate, will only cover cost of property damage, medical expenses, and in some cases, funeral benefits. Lawsuits can provide additional compensation for lost wages, physical disfigurement or scarring, physical pain and suffering, emotional turmoil, and loss of consortium.