As a car accident lawyer, I work with most of my clients after they have been in a car accident. At that point in time, I am focused on how to protect their legal rights. However, protecting yourself before hitting the road is always better. Since many people are in more than one car wreck in their lifetime, this is information everyone should know.

What can I do to make my car safer to drive?

Put simply, you should take your car in for maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer, have the oil changed before you go on long trips, make sure all of the fluids are topped off, fill up the gas tank, and ensure that the proper amount of air is in all four tires. You will also want to have a spare tire, flares, and an emergency kit if you are planning on driving very far. Making sure your car is in tip-top shape is one of the best ways to stay safe on the road because it ensures  that the car will respond to your driving.

Am I more likely to be hit by a drunk driver in the summer?

Not necessarily. The time of day and where you are driving will play a role in the likelihood of your being hit by someone who is driving while intoxicated. However, if you are taking a trip outside of Kentucky, you should be aware that each state has its own statistics. For example, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the average percentage of drivers killed in a crash with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above the legal limit is 26 percent. In Montana, that percentage is 49 percent. If you do research before you go, you may be able to avoid potentially dangerous situations by avoiding roads known to be more dangerous and by being extra diligent in states known to have a high occurrence of drunk driving.

Does my insurance cover me out of state?

Yes, it does. If you move out of state, you need to notify your insurance company as they may no longer be able to insure you. However, if you are simply going on a road trip, your insurance coverage will remain in place. If you are having difficulty with your insurance company processing an accident claim, call me and I will take a look at the issue for you (

Does everyone really need to be buckled up for the entire trip?

I know it is tempting to unbuckle when you are going for a long drive, but according to the IIHS, 57 percent of those killed in Kentucky car wrecks were not wearing a seat belt. This is not a risk that you or your passengers should take, regardless of whether you are heading to the grocery store or to the beach.

What do I do if I am in an accident while out of state?

The answer to this question can be fairly complex because as a Kentucky driver, you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance on your policy and are first supposed to file a claim with your own insurance company. As a car accident lawyer, I can review what happened and then make a recommendation regarding where you should file and how you should file your claim ( Just remember that you need to do this right away and before the statute of limitations runs out.

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Many of your friends will be traveling this summer. Share this blog post so that they can be safer in the process.

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