Whether you just got your license or you have a few years of driving under your belt, your first accident is always scary. Even if it is just a fender-bender, your initial crash causes a great deal of anxiety. If you get into a collision, you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 235,845 teen motorists went to emergency rooms for car accident injuries in 2015.
If you get into an accident and you are able to move around, you can do some things to make the aftermath easier to handle. Here is a guide to managing your first motor vehicle wreck.
1. Do not assign blame
One of the biggest mistakes you can make following an accident is placing blame on yourself or others. Neither apologize nor yell at the other driver. Do not play the blame game at the scene of the crash. Doing either of these things will only complicate matters. Let everything play out afterward.
2. Get a lot of pictures
Chances are you have your smartphone with you every second of every day. When it comes to post-accident dealings, this is a good thing. Taking pictures is the best thing you can do to help the insurance companies determine blame. Take close-up and far away photos of both cars, skid marks and intersections. If you can, consider taking a video of the scene of the crash.
3. Always exchange information
The other driver may attempt to persuade you not to exchange contact information. He or she may try to take advantage of the fact you are young and it is your first collision. Do not give in to these demands. Always trade names, insurance details and phone numbers. If the other driver is uncooperative or flees the scene, at least get a picture of the license plate number and contact the police.
Bonus tip: do not be afraid to call your parents for help!