- Many teen drivers, inexperienced and lacking defensive driving skills, are at a higher risk for accidents due to distractions and speeding.
- In 2020, there was a 17% increase in teen driver fatalities, with 1,885 deaths and nearly 190,000 injuries, highlighting significant driving risks for teens.
- Teens involved in accidents should ensure safety, call the police, exchange insurance info without admitting fault, collect witness contacts, document the scene, and seek immediate medical care.
- New York’s teen driving laws restrict nighttime driving, limit passengers, and ban junior drivers from New York City, emphasizing safety and experience.
- After an accident, parents should discuss driving safety with their teens, consider additional driving courses, and seek legal advice to handle insurance and legal matters efficiently.
Every year, more and more teen drivers get their licenses and take to the roads. Unfortunately, some of these drivers are ill-prepared. Their inexperience increases their accident risk, as they don’t have the defense driving ability of a seasoned driver. In the same vein, they may also be more likely to cause accidents with behaviors such as distracted driving or speeding.
In 2020, there were 1,885 young drivers who died in traffic crashes, a 17-percent increase from the previous year. On top of that, an additional 189,950 teen drivers were non-fatally injured. These statistics are unfortunate, but the risk is real. What should you do if your teen driver ends up in a car accident?
Initial Steps Your Teen Should Take After an Accident
Before your teen gets behind the wheel of a car, it’s important to teach them about the steps they should take should an accident arise. Pass the following information along to your teen driver. They should follow these steps if they get into a car accident, regardless of who’s at fault.
- Make sure that everyone is okay, and if an ambulance needs to be called—do it.
- Call the local police to report an accident. Filing a police report is a great way to start gathering evidence for your potential case. A police report that sides with you can be hard to dispute.
- Exchange insurance information with anyone else involved in the accident. Do not speak about liabilty. Even an apology can be used against you later on down the road.
- Speak with anyone who witnessed the accident and get their contact information. Encourage them to speak with the police if they have the time.
- Take photos and videos of the scene, your vehicle, other vehicles, and your injuries. You can also write down your thoughts or record a voice memo to remember any vital information.
- After leaving the scene of the accident (you’ll need to be dismissed by the investigating police officer), go directly to the hospital or emergency room to receive a medical evaluation. Failing to receive immediate medical treatment is one of the most common reasons insurance companies deny claims.
- Before speaking with any insurance companies (yours or the at-fault party’s), contact an experienced car accident lawyer. Speaking with a lawyer first can prevent early damage to your claim. For example, insurance companies will try to get you to settle quickly and low, often offering fast cash to settle in exchange for your signature.
New York Laws for Teen Drivers
As a teen driver, there are a few rules and regulations that must be followed. For example, New York State law allows no more than one passenger under the age of 21 to ride with a junior licensed driver unless a parent or guardian is present. Other rules for junior drivers include:
- Between 9pm and 5am, junior drivers may only drive unsupervised if they’re going directly between home, school, or work.
- Junior licensed drivers are not allowed to drive in New York City. Only supervised drivers or fully licensed adult drivers may drive within the five boroughs.
It is also recommended that teen drivers don’t transport other teen drivers for the first 1,000 miles driven or the first six months of holding their license. Other rules can be put in place by you, the parent/guardian, by using a parent/teen driving agreement.
Talking to Your Teen Driver After an Accident
If your teen driver is involved in an accident, it may be time to speak to them about their driving habits. You may want to reinforce safe driving habits or limit their driving time. You may also want to enroll them in a refresher course or defensive driving class, depending on how the accident occurred.
Car accidents can be stressful and traumatizing, so it’s important to be understanding when speaking to your teen. Every driver will likely get into an accident at some point, so treat it as a learning experience whenever possible.
Contact Cellino Law to Speak with a Top-Rated Teen Car Accident Lawyer
If your teen driver is involved in a car accident, it’s of the utmost importance to speak with an attorney ASAP. Insurance companies are known for taking advantage of people, and a teen could be even more susceptible to this abuse.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is my teen driver liable for damages in an accident?
If your teen driver is involved in an accident, the other involved party may file a lawsuit against their insurance company. In the case that your teen driver is not insured, they may have to pay out of pocket. If your teen driver is insured (as is required by the state), they won’t have to pay for another person’s damages directly.
How does a car accident affect my teen driver’s record?
If a junior driver is convicted of a serious traffic violation or any two traffic violations, their license or learning permit will be revoked for 60 days. A serious traffic violation is any violation worth 3+ points. This includes speeding and texting while driving.
What legal rights does my teen have after an accident?
Like all other drivers, your teen has the right to compensation for their damages after an accident. If they’re injured in an accident, they have the right to file a claim with their insurance company or another to have their damages compensated.
Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.
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