My older siblings and in laws are angry at me for not telling them about a car accident I was in

Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2022 03:21 pm
I [M16] was riding with some friends on a neighborhood road about a few weeks ago. My friend who was driving overcorrected, drove off the road, and we ended up hitting a tree. Thankfully no one was hurt, but we were a little shaken up, and my friend totaled his mom's car. The worst that came out of it was having to wait for and talk to the police in the rain. They eventually released us to one of my friend’s parents, after the paramedics finished checking us for anything. Afterwards, I simply walked back to my oldest sister's [F31] house. As it was only a few blocks away from where that friend lived.

I chose not to tell my sister, her husband [M31], my other siblings [M26, F22, and F22], and my brother's wife [F27] about what happened. Something I should note here, our parents died from a much more serious car accident about 5 or 6 years ago. I feared that with that still fresh in everyones' minds, it would freak out my remaining family. Thus I decided that what they didn't know wouldn't hurt them.

Man I was wrong. The next morning, my oldest sister called me upstairs. There waiting for me was my oldest sister, her husband, the twins, my older brother, and his wife. They all looked terrified and angry. Apparently, one of my friends' parents called my oldest sister about the accident, and then she told everyone else in the family. All 6 of them then berated me for "hiding things" like that, and demanded that if I ever get in a similar situation again, I let them know right away.

Short story short, I'm not allowed to go anywhere without any of my siblings' or in-laws' supervision for about a month now. Even to and from school, I have to take rides from them. What should I do in my situation? I just don't like my freedom of movement taken away like, and I want to have some time away from family no matter how much I love them. Besides, I really want to this situation to boil over.

TL:DR: Got into a minor car accident with some friends and decided not to tell my family about it. They found out anyway, and I'm in hot water for that.
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2022 03:54 pm
Well, you can understand why they're fearful and upset. If you had told them, you could have downplayed it, how no one was injured, you weren't driving, and the driver wasn't going that fast. See, it helps to tell the story first out of the gate. You really should have told them, especially given your parents' accident. Just own up to that and apologize, say you understand and you'll tell them first thing anything happens.

It's only a month, and may even wind up less than that. More importantly, though, they have to deal with their fears. I mean, you could die anywhere at any time.

Please be a little understanding of their fears and concerns; they love you, obviously, and want you to live a long life.

You'll be away from them all day at school, and if you have a bike, you could ride it on the weekends, etc. It's really not so bad, getting a ride to and from school.
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Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2022 11:25 pm
You should have told them, it's always best to tell your family first so they don't hear it from someone outside the family. This punishment is only a mouth long, surely you can hang in that long. Think of it this way, you terrified your entire family because they didn't know about this accident, and it must have been an agonizing realization that you may have wanted to keep your family in the dark.

Let me share this, many years ago when my son was 15 he was sneaking my car out of the driveway after school and returning it before I got home from work. I didn't figure it out until we got home one afternoon and the Honda was parked in the driveway (we never park the car in the driveway). My husband got out and saw broken headlights so he feared the son was in the house maybe injured or fighting with a rude traffic-scoffing person....I looked at the ground and there was no glass on the pavement so I became 'alarmed' first that he had been driving. Got in the house and he was a crumpled ball of shame..............I hit a mom fury I don't like to use very often (never) and got the real answer right away.

Well, you were not the driver, my son was (and no we didn't tell him he could drive without a license) driving at age 15. I was incandescent, you probably won't want to hear the modifications we placed on his comings and goings, or the other modifications he had to endure. It's hard to be thankful right now, but your family loves you and wants you to be safe......so be safe so you can all gather around in later years an have a great time. Not all families get a chance to do that. ☘️😎
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Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2022 06:29 am
You definitely should have told them. You should have called them from the accident scene and let them know what happened.

As a parent, let me give you my interpretation of your accident.
- You did not get into a minor car accident; you were involved in a major accident that totaled a car. There is a reason that teenagers die in pop culture car accidents by hitting trees. (Forty-eight percent of deaths in fixed object crashes in 2019 involved a vehicle striking a tree. Utility poles and traffic barriers were the next most common objects struck, accounting for 11 and 9 percent of deaths, respectively.) What you described is every parent's nightmare and you are very fortunate that modern cars are insanely safe.
- This accident sounds like what parents (or older siblings) fear about teen drivers, an inexperienced driver, single car accident due to driving error, lots of kids in the car, bad weather. Their reaction might sound over the top to you but is perfectly understandable to me. In my state, newly licensed drivers are only allowed to carry one non-family passenger for a year for fear of accidents like this.
- This was a major life event for you. I remember all the auto accidents I have ever been in pretty well. For you to not tell your family feels to them like a cover up. While your intentions in not alarming them are admirable, that's probably not their interpretation.

All that probably sounds like a lecture and maybe it is a bit of one. It's a big deal and there is value in thinking some about it as a big deal. What contributed to the accident? Was the driver focused on the road and going an appropriate speed for the conditions? What were the passengers doing? There is also value in having a frank talk with your siblings. Part of their reaction is trying to make you understand the magnitude of your actions. If you make it clear you've thought about what happened and what could have happened, their opinion of your judgement might improve rapidly. That said, please recognize that something like this is scary for them too and that might drive their reaction as much as anything else.
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Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2022 08:17 am
They all looked terrified and angry.

This is why you tell them. I am glad you noticed they were terrified - because they were so terrified they got angry.

I am a parent and since your parents are not around - these siblings and their spouses are responsible for you as you are a minor. As a minor you should tell them important things such as this.

You learned a valuable lesson and thankfully none of you were hurt. One thing you can pull from this is how much they love and care about you. And next time please tell them - they deserve it.

One thing you could do is apologize and you can explain the reason why you did not tell them - and admit it was wrong and that you learned from it. It may not lessen your punishment (nor should you apologize to lessen your punishment), but it should ease them a bit and help them trust you again. They were your age once (and not all that long ago) so I honestly think they will understand but be honest and sincere with your apology.
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