There are few things more disturbing than learning that your teenager has been involved in a traffic accident. Provided that you are in direct communication, there are some things you can remind them to do to relieve the fears and concerns of everyone.
What to do Right After the Mishap
If your teen informs you about an accident that appears serious, provide a few safety tips on your own and then have them ask for additional help through the 911 emergency telephone service. If the accident is a single-vehicle crash and does not appear to involve injuries or serious damage, and you are able to, you may wish to drive to the scene and access the situation yourself. If you are communicating by telephone, remind your teen to move the vehicle out of the road, assuming that it is still drivable. If the car is on the side of the road, have the occupants remain inside with their seatbelts fastened until help arrives.
Additionally, have the driver activate the vehicle’s emergency hazard lights. In the event of a serious accident, the most important thing to do is the notification of emergency services. Injuries that may not appear serious could have long-term consequences if they do not receive immediate attention. The careful review of an injury by a medical doctor may also be beneficial in any proceedings needed to determine the financial costs of the condition.
Once the physical condition of everyone involved has been addressed, your teen will have to assess the condition of the vehicle. If it appears damaged, have the driver notify a roadside assistance service, which can tow the vehicle to the repair shop. Professional assistance is essential because towing itself represents certain hazards. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 50,000 accidents occur every year in the United States involving vehicles towing trailers or other vehicles.
Collecting Needed Information
In the event that there are no apparent injuries, the next important step is to share vital information with any others who were involved in the accident. Material that should be exchanged includes the obvious names, addresses, telephone numbers, driver’s licenses and plates, and insurance information. If you haven’t gotten insurance yet, make sure that they are set up before they get into an accident. You can compare American auto insurance reviews online to help make your choice. The vehicles involved need to be identified by make, model, year, color, and plates.
A camera telephone can be useful in taking pictures of the accident scene. Your teen should also ask for the names and numbers of any witnesses who may be helpful in determining the cause of the crash. Police officers who come to the scene will complete a report on the accident, something that can also be beneficial in subsequent proceedings. The names and badge numbers of the responding officers need to be recorded.
Taking Subsequent Action
Once the immediate effects of the accident have been dealt with, you will need to contact the family insurance provider. Your teen will almost certainly need some help providing information and completing the report. This is also the time to assess the damages. The cars involved may be repairable, or they may need replacing. However, even in serious accidents, a vehicle may not be a total loss.
In such cases, about 80% of the vehicle, based on weight, might be recycled. The remaining 20% that will not be salvaged is usually referred to as auto shredder residue (ASR). Of course, there are some things you can discuss with your teen to help them prepare for the possibility of an accident, preferably while he or she is learning to drive. They should include the use of emergency flasher lights and the 911 emergency service. You can also provide information on how to avoid accidents in the first place.
Safety on the road is important, which is why it should be taught and learned at an early age. Teach your teen these steps so they know what to do in the event they’re involved in a car accident.