According to the latest statistics published by the National Highway Safety Administration, teen drivers in Florida and around the country were involved in approximately 297,000 nonfatal motor vehicle accidents in one year. Most of these crashes were caused by distractions, speeding and failing to properly scan surroundings. Whether accidents are the fault of a teenage driver or caused by another driver’s negligence, it is important to treat even the slightest fender bender like a serious accident. Here are a few tips every parent should discuss with their teen driver should they find themselves involved in a minor accident.
Contact the police immediately
It is critical the police document the MVA to ensure a claim can be properly filed with insurance. Often, young drivers can be influenced to not call the police, especially in a minor accident. However, if there is no police report, it is more difficult to determine fault.
Document information at the scene
Taking pictures and writing down circumstances that contributed to the accident while it is fresh on their mind can help to determine fault and make filing a claim easier. Teens should take pictures of all angles of the involved vehicles and write down what happened as soon as possible while they are waiting for police. They could be shaken from the accident and might easily forget important events.
Do not admit guilt
While teens probably want to express concern for the other driver’s safety, they should be careful not to say anything to the driver or to police that might implicate them in the accident. They should simply answer questions asked by police and not offer extra information unless it is important in establishing the fault of the other driver.
Even small accidents can create big problems. Minor damage can cost thousands in repair bills, and dealing with insurance companies can be difficult. Consulting an experienced accident attorney could help to make sense of insurance filings and could help you get the compensation needed for necessary repairs.