The 4th of July holiday has long been the most popular time for summer travel, and, despite the highest gas prices in recent history, highways will be even busier this year. In fact, AAA predicts nearly 49 million people will be taking road trips this weekend, which the organization defines as driving 50 miles or more. Surprisingly, the number of people traveling by car, RV and other passenger vehicles is higher than last year, when 46.2 million people took to the highway during the 4th of July weekend. AAA defines road travel as any destination at least 50 miles from home.
In contrast, the number of airline travelers is the lowest it has been in the last decade.
Unfortunately, more vehicles on the road often leads to an increase in accidents. Here’s a guide to help make your trip safer and more enjoyable.
DOES MY MICHIGAN NO-FAULT POLICY COVER OUT-OF-STATE ACCIDENTS?
While Michigan has no shortage of scenic vacation spots, many people travel to out of state destinations during the holiday weekend. The good news is that Michigan No-Fault covers insured drivers and vehicles in accidents throughout the United States and territories.
However, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage is subject to the limits of the policy selected by the vehicle owner. This applies whether a Michigan driver is injured in an accident with another Michigan driver or one from another state.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT WITH AN OUT-OF-STATE DRIVER?
With 48 million people taking road trips this weekend, it is likely that many motorists from other states will be visiting Michigan.
As of June 11, 2019, when certain No-Fault reforms took effect, non-Michigan residents who are injured in Michigan are not eligible for PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits, unless their vehicle is both registered and insured in Michigan.
Otherwise, out-of-state drivers who are injured in a Michigan accident must seek coverage of their medical bills through their own auto insurance policy or health care plan. For this reason, a Michigan driver who causes an accident with an out-of-state motorist may be held liable for damages if the injured party files a lawsuit.
Therefore, Michigan drivers should purchase as much liability insurance as they can afford to avoid these types of costly consequences.
Recommended reading: DOES MICHIGAN NO-FAULT COVER OUT-OF-STATE DRIVERS AND ACCIDENTS?
TIPS FOR A SAFER FAMILY ROAD TRIP
While some accidents are unavoidable, many can be prevented by refraining from certain risky behaviors on the road.
Here are three of the most dangerous practices that drivers should avoid at all costs:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Excessive speeding
- Using a cell phone or engaging in other distracting activities while driving
Recommended reading: THE MOST COMMON CAR ACCIDENT INJURIES AND WHAT TO DO AFTER A CRASH
Before you go
Make sure your vehicle is ready for the road by taking the following steps:
- Make sure all vehicle lights are working, including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, interior lights and trailer lights
- Check other equipment such as wiper blades, belts and hoses.
- Check all fluid levels; including coolant, oil, windshield washer fluid, and brake, transmission and power steering fluids.
- Be sure the air conditioning system is working properly because a hot car can be dangerous for children and elderly people
- Pack an emergency road trip safety kit with
- Make sure car seats and booster seats are properly installed and that each child has the appropriate size for their age, height and weight
Safety tips for the road
These simple practices can help prevent accidents and ensure a safer trip:
- If you’re tired, pull into a rest stop or find a motel
- Be mindful of motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones and other electronic devices
- Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking or using drugs, including certain prescription or over-the-counter medications that cause drowsiness or affect the ability to drive safely
- Speeding is the main cause of fatal accidents, so observe posted speed limits and reduce speed when traffic is heavy or roads are slippery
- Never leave unattended children in a car, even for a few minutes
- Watch out for children when you’re backing out of rest stops or parking lots since some back-up cameras are too high to see small children or pets
Recommended reading: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MICHIGAN FIREWORKS LAWS
PUT OUR EXPERIENCED DETROIT CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS TO WORK FOR YOU TODAY
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