Teaching Your Teen What to Do After a Car Accident
There are several reasons why teenagers have a much higher risk of being involved in an accident. Teen drivers are novices with little experience. Their brains are still developing, and they are likelier to engage in risky behavior. Teen drivers might also be more prone to making critical driving errors and to engage in distracted driving. Plus, many teen drivers are overly confident about their driving ability, leading them to take unnecessary risks. In addition to teaching your teenager how to handle a vehicle and the rules of the road, remember to teach them what to do after a car accident.
1. Stay at the accident scene.
Teens should be taught that they must remain at the scene of an accident whenever they are involved in a crash. If they leave the scene of a collision, they could face criminal consequences even if they are determined not to have been at fault. Tell your teen that he or she must remain at the accident scene until help arrives.
2. Call 911 to report the accident.
Drivers should immediately call 911 to report their accidents. They should also check themselves and others for injuries and provide basic first aid if anyone is injured. When the police arrive, the driver should calmly tell the responding officer what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.
3. Call their parents.
After calling 911, the next thing a teen driver should do is to call his or her parents. Dealing with the aftermath of a collision can be overwhelming for anyone, and it can be especially traumatic for a teenager. A parent can help their child handle the necessary tasks following a collision.
4. Exchange information with the other driver.
All drivers are required to exchange information with the other driver after a collision. If you are a teenager, you should provide the other motorist with your name, address, and phone number, the names of your parents, and your insurance information. You should also ask the other driver to provide you with his or her name, address, phone number, and insurance information. If the other driver is angry or belligerent, you should wait in your car with the doors locked until the police arrive and let the officer get the other motorist’s information for you.
5. Take pictures.
Taking pictures after an accident can provide good information about what happened and help with any potential insurance claim. Teen drivers should take photos of the damage to both vehicles and other relevant details, including things like skid marks, road conditions, weather conditions, and others. Photographs can help prove liability in situations in which the other driver is at fault.
6. Go to the doctor.
It is important for a teen driver to seek medical attention after a car accident. Even if the teenager doesn’t believe that they’re injured, they should get a medical examination. They might have an injury that’s not immediately noticeable. Getting prompt medical care can help to ensure that the injuries do not worsen and can help to preserve any legal claim that might be available.
7. Do not admit fault.
Teenagers often believe that accidents are their fault. However, something might have happened that they are not aware of. Teen drivers should not admit fault or accept blame. Instead, they should simply tell the officer what they remember in the moments leading up to the crash.
8. Speak to an attorney
If a teen is involved in a crash that they believe was caused by someone else, they (with the help of their parents) should speak to an experienced accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Do you live in Oklahoma or Arkansas? Contact the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook today by calling 479-783-8000 (Fort Smith), 918-912-2132 (Tulsa), or 479-455-2210 (Fayetteville) to schedule your free consultation.