Handling a Teen Driver’s First Accident

From distracted driving, drowsy driving, night driving, and driving under the influence coupled with being a new, inexperienced driver, the road can be a dangerous place for teens. In fact, the risk of car crashes is higher among 16 to 19-year-olds than any other age group.

75% of serious teen driver crashes are caused by “critical errors” — speeding, being distracted, and lack of proper scanning of the road to detect and respond to hazards.

So, if your teen is about to get their driver’s license or has just passed their test, you may feel a bit nervous with the thought of them taking on the wide-open road on their own. Maybe your Google search for “car accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale” led you to this page. If you’re the parent of a teen driver, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn what you should do if your teen is ever involved in an accident.

Types of Teen Accidents

The main types of accidents that teens are involved in include:

Distracted Driving

Although the laws against distracted driving are quite clear, millions of drivers — of all ages — continue to ignore them. Distracted driving accidents can cause catastrophic injuries. Let’s take a look at some quick facts about teens and distracted driving:

A CDC study found that 39% of high schoolers who drove in the past 30 days texted or emailed while driving at least one time.
Students who texted or used email while driving were also more likely to report other transportation risk behaviors, including:

  • Not always wearing a seat belt.
  • More likely to ride with a driver who has been drinking.
  • More likely to drive after drinking.

Auto-Pedestrian Accidents

An auto-pedestrian accident can lead to serious damages and injuries — physically and mentally. An auto-pedestrian accident is traumatizing for anybody, but especially for a new teen driver.

Alcohol use, distracted driving, night driving, and drowsy driving all increase the risk of auto-pedestrian accidents. Since auto-pedestrian accidents can lead to grave injuries, it’s extremely important to contact an attorney if your teen has been involved in a car accident with a pedestrian.

How to Handle a Teen Driver’s First Accident

Every parent’s worst nightmare is getting a call from their teen driver to let them know they’ve been involved in an accident. But, it is of the utmost importance that you remain calm, reassuring, and supportive. Remember, this experience is incredibly traumatizing for your teen, and the most important thing is that they are okay.

We understand that it can be extremely frustrating — especially if your teen was texting, driving with rambunctious friends, or doing something that could have otherwise avoided the accident, but it’s important to refrain from getting angry, shouting at, or blaming your teen for the accident.

Instead, use this as a learning opportunity and to reinforce how critical safe driving is for their safety and the safety of their passengers and all other cars/pedestrians on the road. Reinforce that this is why driving is a privilege.

Once you know your teen is okay, it’s time to start gathering information. Meet them at the site of the accident (or as close as you can safely get). Here’s what we recommend doing:

  1. When you arrive on the scene, make sure your teen’s car and any other cars involved (including your own) are moved to a safe spot to avoid causing traffic jams and other risks.
  2. Contact the police ASAP. If your teen or anyone else is injured, call for an ambulance.
  3. Check your teen’s car to make sure no fluids are leaking. If you notice anything leaking, call 911.
  4. Grab a notebook or open the Notes app on your phone when you arrive on-scene. Jot down the time of the accident, weather conditions, and any other pertinent details about the state of the scene. Collect the contact details of possible witnesses.
  5. Use your phone to take pictures of the scene, cars involved, etc.
  6. Don’t make comments to other motorists admitting fault. It’s best to avoid talking to anybody else about the accident until your attorney can be present.
  7. Cooperate with the police and provide all required information so they can properly investigate the accident.
  8. Contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer. Your teen’s first accident can be an overwhelming time. Count on the expertise of a licensed attorney to guide you through the legal process and help keep your teen protected.

We know it’s scary to even think about our kids being involved in accidents, but a little bit of preparation can ensure if something does happen, you are prepared to respond appropriately and minimize the harm from the accident.

Looking for a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney? Contact Us Today!

If your teen has recently been involved in a car accident, you need to find a skilled Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer. At Englander Peebles, we are the go-to car accident lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, thanks to our experience, expertise, and dedication to our clients. Contact us today, and let’s get started building a strong case for your teen driver.

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