Talk to Your Teen about What to Do after a Car Accident
As a parent, you do everything you can to keep your kids safe from harm. This includes prepping your teenager on what to do after a car accident. Having a well-thought-out accident plan won’t necessarily prevent injury, but it may help lessen the effects and protect your family’s right to financial recovery.
Below are tips on how to help your teenage child build a car accident emergency plan in case he or she is involved in a car accident.
Talk about Auto Safety Early and Build a Foundation for Good Habits
Do not wait until the day your child gets his or her full driver’s license to discuss safe driving habits and what to do after a car accident. Begin having these discussions before your teen participates in his or her first driving lesson.
In terms of building good habits, focus on key issues like:
- seatbelt use;
- the dangers of drinking and driving;
- the dangers of texting and driving; and
- the need to follow the rules of the road (particularly speed limits and traffic signals).
Once that has been established, open up the conversation to look at how accidents occur and what to do in the event your teen driver is in a crash.
Prep Your Child for Poor Driving Conditions and Stress Staying Calm
Here in Fort Lauderdale, our teen drivers must learn how to safely operate in heavy rains and other adverse driving conditions. Help your teens become more comfortable and competent in bad weather by riding with them during summer rainstorms or foggy conditions. Talk to your child about how best to react when losing traction or hydroplaning. Encourage teens to stay indoors and wait out the bad weather when possible. Especially here in Florida, where heavy rain showers are here and gone in less than 30 minutes!
Your teen is likely to feel frightened and overwhelmed in the event of an accident. Remind them that while this is normal, it is important they remain as calm as possible to protect their own safety.
Call the Authorities and Talk to the Other Driver
Your child should be instructed to call police to the scene even before calling you. If someone is hurt – or even suspected to be hurt – tell your teen driver to call 9-1-1. As parents, we want to be the first to know if something happened to our children, but in this case, immediate medical and police assistance is paramount.
Tell your teen drivers to exchange your contact information (not theirs!) and insurance information with the other driver. They should say nothing else. They should not apologize or offer any sort of explanation. Ideally, they should wait until the police arrive to engage in any conversation with other driver(s), particularly if the other driver(s) appears angry or upset.
What to Do if Your Child is Not Seriously Injured
Instruct your child to move a crashed vehicle out of traffic if he or she is not seriously injured and are able to safely do so. Your child should turn on the hazard lights and remain at the scene until released by police.
Join our National Teen Safe Driving campaign from Oct. 21st through Oct 30th. Download a copy of the Parent and Teen Safe Driving Contract and go over it before handing over the keys. Be a team in teaching Teens to drive safe.
Contact Chalik & Chalik if your teen child has been injured in a car accident. Our family-based team can talk to you about your options for an injury settlement or lawsuit after a car accident. Call 888-476-4697.