Auto insurance companies estimate that the average driver is involved in one accident approximately every 10 years. Auto collisions are extremely serious, frightening events – more than 30,000 Americans are killed in traffic accidents every year, and more than 2 million are injured, according to data provided by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – and while obtaining a driver’s license is considered a rite of passage for many teenagers, the real dangers they face on the road can make learning to drive a scary experience. If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, safety experts advise you to take the following course of action.
Calm down. Take several deep, controlled breaths and take the time to collect yourself. Emotions after an accident typically range from guilt to anger to shock and fright, but properly assessing the situation will require you to remain calm.
Take steps to ensure the safety of yourself and others. If the accident is relatively minor and the car seems to be drivable, move it out of the way of traffic (unless it is illegal to move your car from the accident scene in your state of residence). If you are unable to get out of your car, turn on the emergency hazard lights, keep your seat belt fastened, and wait for help. Call 911 if it is possible to do so. If you are able, check the other cars involved in the accident to make sure no one has been injured.