What To Do If Your Teen Gets in a Car Crash
A serious car accident is one of a parent's worst nightmares for their teenage driver. However, knowing what to do when an accident occurs can take some of the fear and frustration out of the situation.
The priority in any car accident situation is to make sure any injuries are taken care of. Have your teen call 911 to report the accident or do it for them. If there are any injuries, they will dispatch paramedics to the scene. Even if there are no injuries, it is a good idea to report the accident. You may need the police report for your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer or insurance company.
Move To a Safe Place
Instruct your teen to move the vehicle out of traffic if it is still drivable. If not, turn on the hazard lights and exit the vehicle and move to the side of the road, if it is safe to do so. If your teen can not leave the vehicle because of traffic or injuries, tell him to remain in the vehicle with his safety belt fastened until help arrives.
Advise your teen not to admit fault for the accident and to obtain the other driver's information. Ask if there are any injuries in the other vehicle. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of the occupants of the other vehicle and any witnesses. Obtain the other driver's insurance information and driver's license number. If possible, take a photo of the other driver's license and insurance card.
If your teen has a smartphone, tell her to take photos of the scene, the people involved and the damage to both vehicles. It may also be useful to take a photo of the license plate number of the other vehicle.
Other information that may prove useful is the year, make, model and color of the other vehicle, the speed your teen was driving at when the accident occurred, the date and time of the accident, the weather conditions, the badge number of the responding police officers and when they arrived and the road conditions. Your teen should write this information down or take notes on a smartphone.
Report the Accident To Your Insurance Company
If your teen is listed on your insurance, you should report the accident to your insurance company. This can usually be done either through your insurance agent or by calling the claims center for your insurance company.
Request a Copy of the Police Report
Your insurance company may need a copy of the police report to process your claim. To avoid waiting for your insurance company to obtain it, you should request a copy and fax or e-mail a copy to your insurance adjuster.
Call a Tow Truck
If your teen's vehicle is not drivable, you should make arrangements for it to be towed to a nearby repair shop. Avoid leaving the vehicle at the site of the accident. If the vehicle is left for too long, the city may impound it.
You should ask to be included on any calls or other correspondence between your teen and the insurance company. Advise your teen not to take any actions without informing you and to allow the insurance company to deal with the other party.
Make Sure Your Teen Is OK
Car accidents, particularly your first one, can be a frightening experience. Make sure your teen is recovering from the experience and consider seeking professional help if needed.
Practice Your Plan
When your teen first starts driving, it may be a good idea to pretend there has been an accident and go through all of the steps your teen will need to take. This will help your teen be more comfortable with the process when a real accident happens.
A car crash can be a traumatic event for teenage drivers and their parents. However, having a plan in place can help your teen navigate the process.