Drive Young

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 28, 2002

The day has finally arrived. Mother gives the car keys to her teen-ager, telling the teen-ager “with the keys comes the responsibility.”

The teen-ager, she thinks, is finally old enough to be behind the wheel. The teen-ager, after all, is almost an adult now and should be able to make the right decisions at the right times.

But one day the mother gets an unexpected phone call. The teen-ager has just been an accident. The mother panics. Does the teen-ager know what he or she is supposed to do?

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This is a common scenario faced by many teen-agers, who have finally assumed the responsibility of being behind the wheel, said Lt. David Evans, head of the traffic division at the Selma Police Department.

Evans said there are several things young drivers should know if they are involved in an accident.

“The common mistake made by many young drivers is that often they will move their vehicle away from the scene of the accident,” Evans said. “The first thing to remember is do not move the vehicle away. Always stay at the scene of the accident.”

Evans added that young drivers should call their parents immediately.

“Its always best to have a cell phone with you at all times when you’re driving, just in case you do have an accident, ” Evans said. “Let your parents know right away, because otherwise they will worry.”

Evans also urged young drivers to have their proof of insurance and driver’s license handy at all times.

If the other party acts hostile in this situation, Evans said, the best thing is not to get into a confrontation with them.

“Just remain calm, and keep quiet, and try to avoid any arguments or hassles,” he said.

Finally if there is anyone hurt, Evans said, contact emergency personnel immediately.

Added Evans, “Always try and remain calm, and make absolutely sure you stay at the scene. Those are always the two most important things to remember.”