8 Things Parents Should Teach Their Teens About Handling Car Accidents
It has been found through research that teen drivers are at least three times as likely to be involved in a car accident than older adults. At least one out of four teens will be involved in a car accident during their very first year of driving. Because of this, it is important for parents to teach their teen drivers about what to do in the unfortunate event they are in an accident while driving.Remain Calm and Stay Put
While accidents can be scary for anyone while driving, it can be much more frightening to a teenager who has never been in one. The most important thing you can teach your teen is to remain calm during and after. Stress, panicking and anger could make the situation worse. Additionally, it is essential for your teen to know that they should never leave the scene of an accident, even a minor one.Always Contact the Authorities
Once the accident has happened and the teen is out of harm's way, they should contact local authorities. They will send the police and an ambulance if it is needed. They will ask your teen information about the situation, such as location, and if anyone is hurt. Teach teens how to describe the area they are in such as by looking at street signs, landmarks or business names. This type of information can help the dispatcher locate the accident scene quicker.Exchange Contact Information
An important thing to teach your teen driver about getting into an accident, no matter how minor, is to take down the information of the other driver involved. The information they obtain should include the name of the driver, their address, insurance policy, telephone number and anything else they are able to get. If you decide to file a claim, insurance companies are going to require this information. Furthermore, make sure your teen driver never gets behind the wheel without their license, insurance card and registration with them.Document Accident Scene
If your teen feels safe enough and is not injured, they should try to take notes about the accident scene. If possible, taking pictures of both vehicles involved can really help your case if you file a claim with your insurance company. Trying to remember everything from memory can be a big mistake. Details of information and conversations can become blurred in someone's memory over time after an accident. If your teen wants to take a pic of the accident damage to another vehicle or their own, teach them to get a picture with the license plate included in the frame. The more that is documented, the easier your claim will be handled.Seek Medical Help
Even if your teen doesn't feel like they are injured after an accident, they should always accept being checked out by the emergency personnel. Most people have adrenaline running through them after an accident and may not be able to feel an injury right away.Be Honest About What Happened
One of the more important things you should teach your teen about accidents is that it is best to always be honest, especially with the police. Trying to lie in order to not get in trouble could end up causing more problems for them in the long run.Call Home
Make sure your teen knows that they can always call you after an accident without getting into more trouble. Once things are settled with the accident and the emergency workers have done what they needed, your teen should call you to let you know what happened and be able to give you the information needed to contact your insurance company. Let them know they can always feel safe calling you in situations such as a car accident and that not letting the situation get handled properly could get them in more trouble if they don't.Contact Insurance
Let your teen in on the experience with contacting your insurance company after the accident to file the claim. It can be a valuable lesson for them and can set them up with information to file a claim on their own in the future if they need to. It can also let them see more clearly the severity of any type of accident so that they may become safer and more responsible drivers going forward.
British Solomon is a contributing writer and media specialist for Caliber Collision. She regularly produces content for a variety of car safety and lifestyle blogs.