It is scary to think of a young driver getting into a collision, but the reality is that drivers with less experience are more likely to have an accident than their older counterparts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 205,000 car accidents involving young drivers in 2019. As such, it is worth preparing teen drivers for what to do in the case of an accident. Here are some tips that loved ones can pass along to younger drivers so they know how to stay safe and protected if a collision happens:
- Consider possible injuries, even if there is no pain in the moment: When a car accident occurs, those involved usually have a spike of adrenaline or “shock.” This can get in the way of identifying injuries, as pain may not be as noticeable. Therefore, teens who are in an accident should be careful to consider the possibility of having been injured, even if there is not immediate pain. Common injuries include head trauma, broken bones, damage to the spine or back, or injuries to internal organs.
- Get a police report: The documentation from a police report is often very important, especially if insurance companies get involved later on. Teens should know to contact the police in the case of an accident, even if the other party asks them not to do so.
- Do not take the blame or place the blame on others: Young drivers may have an instinct to apologize if an accident happens. This can be a big mistake, as the other driver could use this against the young driver as an admission of guilt in dealing with the insurance company. It is best to avoid having a conversation about who is at fault, and instead let the police and insurance companies gather evidence to make that assessment.
In addition to the above, teens should know to move their cars out of oncoming traffic if it is possible and to exchange information with the other parties involved. In short, they should consider how to protect their own health and safety as well as their interests with regards to insurance and liability. Teenagers who have been in a car accident along with their parents or guardians who may be responsible for the vehicle’s insurance policy can benefit from seeking legal counsel from a trusted California personal injury lawyer. Victims of these unfortunate incidents may be entitled to monetary damages for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages from missing work and more.