Driving is dangerous for anyone but inexperienced teen drivers are even more at risk. Based on studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every year, there are around 30,000 deaths and over 2 million injuries from car accidents in the United States.
Vehicular accidents can occur any time and at any place. If a teen gets into an accident, it might take him a few minutes to figure out what happened. He can be so disconcerted after a crash that it’s easy to forget what needs to be done. As a teen driver, you need to know exactly what you should do in case you get involved in a car collision.
Practice Safe Driving
The best way to survive a car accident is to avoid being involved in one. You should obey traffic laws, such as those involving speeding and impaired driving. You should also keep your focus on the road. While driving, do not use your mobile phone to text or call, avoid eating or changing the station on the radio, or other distracting activities.
Always Be Prepared
Car accidents can be scary; however, if you are prepared, you can lower the risk of suffering from severe injuries. You should keep in mind that although you try to be a responsible and defensive teen driver, it is still smart to be prepared for any contingencies while on the road. According to Bob M. Cohen & Associates, a California based law firm that deals with personal injury, car crashes are usually the result of distracted driving, impaired driving, and bad judgment. Often, it is the result of another driver’s negligent behavior. For this reason, you should do what you can to keep yourself safe while on the road.
Wear Your Seat Belt: This may seem like an obvious safety advice; however, you might be surprised to learn that a lot of teen drivers take this precaution for granted. Make sure that your lap belt sits on your hip bones and that the shoulder belt is placed across your chest.
Make Sure Your Car Has Safety Features: You should try to drive the safest car that is within your budget and suits your need. You could look into the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety’s list of extensive safety ratings and list of safe cars of different models and sizes.
Store Objects Inside The Car Properly: You should store objects that could hit you during a crash so that it won’t cause any injuries in case of a collision. You should remove them from your car, or store them in the trunk.
Be Prepared For Any Changes In Traffic: While on the road, you should always pay close attention to the traffic flow so that you can be prepared for any changes. Usually, you will know about certain emergencies just by watching the flow of the cars ahead of you.
What To Do In Case Of An Accident
Check For Any Injuries: In case of a vehicular collision, you should try to remain calm. Check if you or any of your passengers has been injured. You should also call 911 for emergency treatment. Avoid moving someone who is unconscious; however, if you really need to move him because he is in a risky situation, make sure that you support his head and neck.
When talking to a dispatcher, give the following information:
- Your name and phone number in case the law enforcer needs your information later.
- Tell the dispatcher as much information as you can. For instance, you should let him know if there is a fire, medical emergency, traffic hazard, and so on.
- Inform the dispatcher about your location. Give him the road name or number, mile markings, traffic signs, or city.
Move Away From Traffic: If possible, move your vehicle on the side of the road. Keep away from traffic to avoid further accidents. Turn on your warning lights to let other vehicles know about your situation.
Call The Authorities: You should immediately call the authorities so that they can file the necessary accident report. Avoid discussing the accident with other people, except with the police, your insurance agent, and your lawyer.
Document The Scene: If you are not seriously injured, you should document the scene. Use your phone’s camera feature to take pictures of the accident scene; preferably before moving the cars. You should also record as much information as you can.
Get Necessary Information: You should also ask for the other driver’s personal information and license. You should get his name, phone number, address, license number and plate number, and insurance policy number.
This guest post is written by Kris Hopkins, a registered nurse. In her line of work, she sees car crash victims being rushed to emergency rooms every day; thus, she offers these tips to help victims deal with the aftermath of an accident. She urges victims to seek compensation for their injuries with the help of a credible injury attorney.
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