Most California teenagers are excited when they finally get their driver’s license and don’t need their parents to sit in the car next to them. However, teens are the most vulnerable drivers because of their inexperience. Many panic when they get into an accident, even if the mishap wasn’t their fault.
Act responsibly in the accident aftermath
Driving is dangerous, and most people will be involved in one or more car accidents during their lifetime. Emphasize to your teen that driving responsibly doesn’t prevent all accidents. They still need to act responsibly afterward by doing the following:
- Stay calm by taking deep breaths to handle the situation
- Keep yourself and anyone else in the vehicle safe
- Check for injuries and call for medical help if needed
Reporting the incident to local police is essential. Advise your teen on the type of information required to provide the police dispatcher with, such as their name, accident details, where the accident happened and other pertinent information. Your teen should also gather information from other drivers involved, including names and contact information, insurance company details and car license plate numbers. If the accident is minor, your teen can also snap photos and take notes regarding the incident. If the accident is major with considerable damage, relying on the police report is a better choice.
What happens if my teen sustains an injury?
Young drivers aren’t always at fault in an auto accident. Nevertheless, they can still suffer personal injuries, even minor ones, resulting from the crash. Negligence causes most motor vehicle accidents. However, when a teen driver is involved in a mishap, insurance companies usually try to blame them by taking advantage of the perception that all new drivers are automatically negligent.
As a parent, you should take an aggressive stance against such tactics, especially if your teen suffered significant injuries and the police report shows others were at fault. Often, the first settlement is a low offer that won’t cover medical bills. You may be able to file a lawsuit on behalf of your teen to recover damages in some instances.