August 8th, 2018
Do you have a teenager who finally received his or her driver’s license? While you’re expressing your confidence in his skills, it’s also a good time to discuss with your teenager what to do in case of a car accident — whether it’s a fender bender or more serious.
Remind your teenager that the first call needs to be to 911 to report the accident. Even if involving law enforcement doesn’t seem necessary, it’s important to have a proper accident report on file with the local police department, state highway patrol or sheriff’s office.
Remind your teenager to move the vehicle to a safe spot, if possible. If she can’t, remind her to stay where she is, turn on the hazard lights and choose the safest place to wait — in the vehicle or away from the vehicle.
While your teenager may want to accept blame and apologize from the beginning, remind him not to admit he is at fault or even blame the other drivers involved. Asking passengers or others involved if they are injured is fine, of course.
If your teen has a smart phone, or other camera, it’s a good idea to take photos of those on the scene, license plates, damage, and any other conditions surrounding the accident. The photos will help your teenager remember details later, and can help paint a full picture of what happened at the accident scene.
Remind her to exchange insurance information with the other drivers. That smart phone is also helpful for taking photos of insurance cards and driver’s licenses as well as to make notes of any other information.
Don’t overlook any potential medical issues with your teen resulting from the accident. This includes making sure they are evaluated by medical personnel depending on the severity of the accident.
Finally, work with your young driver to call your insurance agent, to file a claim. Don’t delay in reporting the accident. The sooner a claim is made, the sooner your agent can help! Accidents happen. With the knowledge of what to do, as well as safe driving reminders, your teen will be better prepared to handle that first accident.