In Texas, and most states in the US, the driving age is 16 years old. Naturally, this makes most adolescents eager to get behind the wheel and gain their independence. In the same vein, parents begin to fret.
While you hope you have instructed your teenagers well on the importance of safety and responsibility while driving, you must educate them on the worst case scenarios as well to ensure they are prepared. With that said, instill in your teenagers the steps to take in case they encounter a collision.
The following guide is what a teenager should do after a car crash.
The first rule is to always remain calm. A car accident can easily shock drivers and he or she may even feel disoriented after the crash. Take a deep breath and try to calm your nerves so that you can accurately assess the situation.
It is natural to feel fear or guilt, but do your best not to panic as it will hinder your judgment and your attempt to handle the situation effectively.
Report to Authorities
Check for any injuries of yours or others and report the accident to authorities. Avoid discussing the accident with anyone other than the police and make sure you acquire all the details of the scene, take photos and even write down everything you need to remember to inform authorities.
This includes information on the other driver. If you are too injured to do so, have a passenger or passerby handle it for you. It is also important to request emergency assistance if you or anyone else has severe injuries. Inform the dispatcher of all the details, including your location and the cause of the accident.
Invariably, when you are reporting the accident to the police, make sure that the officer files a report immediately and ask for a copy. Moreover, don’t forget to file an auto insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance along with your insurance.
Don’t Flee the Scene
If you fear the accident is your fault, perhaps you are driving without a license, speeding, or are afraid you’d be held liable for your negligence, it is important to not flee the scene. This would only result in criminal charges being filed against you, making the case worse than it could potentially be.
If you get involved in an accident without a license, it does not equate to you being held liable for the accident. Texas-based injury lawyers explain that a first time offense would only impose a fine of $200. However, if a continuation of unlicensed driving occurs, a conviction could result in jail time and an increased fine up to $500. Regardless of who’s responsible, fleeing the scene only worsens your outcome.
Contact a Lawyer
If you are presented with any injuries, it is vital that you contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you get medical treatment and will advise you on what and what not to say.
So, refrain from providing a recorded statement to the insurance company until you have revised things with your lawyer. This statement can be used against you if you were to end up with a case.
Keep an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit should be in your car at all times for safety measures. In this kit, it is recommended that you place a pen and paper to write down necessary details and your insurance card. This kit should also contain a card with your personal and medical information.
Furthermore, a picture is worth a thousand words, so consider including a disposable camera to document the scene. While many people neglect this advice since everyone has smartphones nowadays, you must consider what could be damaged in the accident. So, keep a safely concealed camera within reach in your glove compartment in case of emergency.
Seek Medical Assistance
Ultimately, it is crucial that you seek medical attention immediately if you possess any injuries. Moreover, follow doctor’s orders when it comes to treatment from prescription medication to therapy. And finally, remain under a doctor’s care until you are guaranteed release.
A car crash alone can leave you and those involved distraught. However, the aftermath poses just as much a burden. The upcoming days can still leave you feeling shaky and guilt-ridden. However, some crashes are unavoidable and consider this a learning experience for you to take responsibility and improve your behavior.
Be adamant on being a cautious and defensive driver and if any you do happen to wind up in these unfortunate circumstances, then following the above guide will help to relieve you of any stress. So, keep in mind the steps to take if such an accident should happen.