Handling Rock Falls and Car Damage During Trips
During the fall months, it can be extremely relaxing to explore the winding roads and mountainous slopes of the rocky mountains, or take your care up to a hillside lake retreat. Whether you have a destination in mind or just enjoy driving along the countryside, there are always exciting things to see—and exciting things to avoid.
There’s nothing like enjoying the freedom of a getaway in your car. While most trips go fairly smoothly, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. One of the most unexpected occurrences during a car trip is a rock fall while traveling on mountainous roads. If you’re caught in a rock fall, you could experience significant damage to your vehicle that requires immediate action.
To avoid this, you should be sure to keep your eye out for signs warning of rock slides and falls, and be careful when driving around winding roads. If you do end up getting caught in a rock slide or experience damage to your vehicle, follow these tips in order to best handle the damage.
Don’t Forget to Call Insurance
While you might imagine a rock slide involves massive boulders, the truth is that even tiny pebbles can cause cracks in the windshield and dents in your car. The most important thing you need to do after experiencing car damage from a rock fall is to contact your insurance company. Given that rocks don’t carry insurance policies, you’ll need to pay for the cost of repairs on your own. If you have a comprehensive auto insurance policy, you will simply need to pay the deductible that your plan requires and then your insurance will pay for the rest. To get this process going, though, calling your insurance company is the best place to start.
Figure Out Liability
Before you allow your insurance company to pay for the full extent of the repairs to the vehicle, it’s a good idea to try and figure out who is responsible for protecting and maintaining the roadway on which your accident occurred. If you’re able to track that information down, it may turn out that they are responsible for paying for at least some of the cost of repairs. Figuring out liability will help you cut down your own repair costs.
Find A Local Collision Center
Depending on the severity of the rock fall, you may not be able to drive your vehicle after the incident occurs. Therefore, it’s important to find local panel beaters who can get your vehicle into drivable condition. As much as you can, try to do research on the local options so that you can find the best service. Local repair shops will also likely know what areas are most prone to rock slides and damaging cars in the area and can give you some good advice to avoid future problems.
Take Care of Yourself
In many cases, a car accident doesn’t just affect your car, it also affects you. With something as serious as a rock fall, you may have injuries that you don’t notice until a few days later. Therefore, it’s important to monitor your condition and seek medical attention if you develop any pain.
Know What to Look For
While it’s ultimately impossible to predict when a rock fall will occur, there are a few things that you can look for to help you determine if one is more likely to happen. The biggest thing to look for is determining if there has been excess precipitation in the region recently. Excess rain can loosen the soil underneath rocks, causing them to fall. If you know of an area that has seen a lot of precipitation recently, it may be better to choose an alternate route.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan
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