While earning a driver’s license is an exciting time for a teen driver, their parents may understandably be worried about them getting into car accidents. Unfortunately, teen drivers have the highest risk of being involved in a car accident, largely due to their inexperience behind the wheel. Parents should consider providing their teens with advice about what to do in the event their teen finds themselves involved in a car accident. 

Prepare Your Teens with Tips and Kits

The most important piece of advice you can provide your teen about being involved in a car accident is to remind them to keep calm. If your teen gets into a crash, they may begin to panic about how you will react. However, if your teen remains calm after an accident, they can begin to take steps to protect themselves.

In addition, you should pack the vehicle or vehicles that your teen will drive with an emergency kit. This kit can include a checklist of steps your teen should take after an accident, important phone numbers to call, and vehicle registration and insurance information. 

Step One: Ensure Their Safety

First, you should teach your teen that the most important step to take after an accident is to ensure their physical safety. If they or someone else involved in the accident is injured, remind your teen to call 911. Even if the accident only resulted in property damage, you should teach your teen to always report the accident to law enforcement. You should also instruct your teen to move their vehicle out of the path of traffic, onto the shoulder if possible, and to activate the vehicle’s hazard lights. 

Step Two: Exchange Information

After your teen is safe, they should begin to collect information from the accident. This includes:

  • Writing down the name and insurance information of each driver involved in the accident
  • Gathering contact information from any eyewitnesses
  • Using their cell phone to take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, the other vehicle's plate numbers, skid marks on the road, traffic controls, and weather/road/traffic conditions

Remind your teen that while they need to provide their name and insurance information to the other driver, they should not offer any further information. Your teen should also refrain from discussing the accident with the other driver or any witnesses on the scene. 

Step Three: Notify the Police

If the police respond to the scene of the accident, you should remind your teen that they should not leave the scene until the officer tells them they are free to leave. You should also advise your teen that if an officer asks them for a statement, they should stick to the basic facts of the accident and should not guess or speculate.

If the police decline to respond to the scene of the accident, your teen can ask the police dispatcher for advice if they are unsure about what to do. 

Steps to Take in the Days Following the Accident

Additional steps your teen should take after getting home from the accident scene include:

  • Seeking medical attention, even if they aren't feeling any pain or don't have any visible injuries
  • Having them write down all the details they can remember from the accident
  • Notifying your family’s auto insurance provider about the accident

Contact a Rochelle Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne, Hoboken, and throughout New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic St., Rochelle Park, NJ 07762.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.