What to do if you get in a road traffic accident in Florida

A few years ago now, we were in a road traffic accident in Florida.  We were waiting at a red traffic light when the truck coming up behind us was distracted and back ended our mid size SUV.  The back crumpled and the back windscreen fell out.  We had a friend and her 2 boys with us at the time – everyone was very shaken and it actually shoved us into the vehicle in front.

It is the law to call the Florida Highway Patrol *FHP, which we did.  Interestingly, the driver of the car in front of us decided to be on his way once the police were called despite his rear bumper being a little dented.

The highway patrol arrived very quickly and were very efficient.  The police officer used the loud hailer on the top of his police car to call me and the other driver to attend his patrol car.  He was very pleased that I had both pieces of my driving licence – photo card and paper part plus the rental agreement in the car.  He asked both drivers what had happened and then went back to his car to record the details and make a decision on what would happen next.

In the meantime, we called Alamo and arranged for the car to be recovered and for an alternate vehicle to be delivered.

Once the police officer was ready, he ‘hailed’ us back to his vehicle.  He told me I had a nice top (I’m not even joking), told the other driver he was being citated and advised me I was free to go.  He also advised everyone in my vehicle to attend the ER to get checked out.  He provided me with a copy of his records, his decision and contact details.

Important things to remember:

  1. Always keep both parts of your driving licence with you
  2. Call the FHP – it’s the law and you will need to for the car hire company. 
  3. When they arrive be polite – they have a gun and a baton!!

We had to wait a while for a replacement to be delivered, but once it was that was that – we didn’t have any problems when we dropped the car off or any time afterwards.



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