It’s late at night and the phone rings.
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It’s your teen driver, who sounds really frightened and tense.
Of course, you are worried since they have been out of home way past their curfew time. As any other parent says, “nothing good happens after midnight.”
You couldn’t agree more and your teen confirms what you were actually thinking: “Mom, I’ve just had an accident”
Awestruck, you don’t know where to start and your mind and emotions are triggering the most sinister sensations you don’t wish any parent to go through.
Though the first thing you need to ask is whether or not your teenager is feeling ok. When it comes down to it, you can replace a car any time, but your teen cannot be.
Is it you teenager’s first car accident?
As we live only once, your teen driver should know how much you care about their safety. Always make sure they get the message, mostly because teenagers aren’t ready to confront life challenges the way you do.
Some parents start patronizing their kids by blaming them about their actions, which does nothing to solve the problem in place.
Your mission, as any other parent, is to remind your teen how important it is for you to know they are safe above anything else. Keep it as a habit.
Once you know your teen driver is ok, it’s time to gather information by asking them where the accident happened and plan to meet them there.
Anything that happens afterwards will depend on the nature of the accident, not to mention that you must be insured to be able to afford severe injuries or property damages given the circumstances.
This situation will be a lesson to add to your parenting experience. If you haven’t talked about it with your teen yet, it would make more sense to start having a discussion about crashes and how to handle them cautiously.
You are probably more inclined to simply shut it out, move on, and hope that nothing similar happens ever again, but your role as a father is to address the issue by setting a list of actions that need to be taken in the event of another accident.
Keep in mind that the more you discuss it with your teen, the more prepared they will be to handle a car crash.
As for your teen, facing their first car accident won’t be pleasant at all, which is the reason we advised parents to be familiar with the following checklist and be able to share it with their teens before they hit the road.
Bad things happen to everyone, but your teen may not necessarily be able to handle their first car accident adequately, and that’s when you need to step in and teach them a lesson.
- Take note of the time of the accident in your phone and a piece of paper. It will help you give further details about the accident during analysis.
- Pull over and place your vehicle in a safe spot so as to avoid increasing congestion and other risks.
- If you notice any fluid leakage from the car, even if it’s not gasoline, call 911.
- Contact the police right away. If you or any other motorist/pedestrian has been injured call for medical assistance immediately.
- Never make any comments to other motorists, admitting fault or any other action in relation to the accident. Regardless of who’s at fault, wait for the police to carry out their investigation.
- Show cooperation with the police and provide all the information they require to analyze the accident.
- Use your phone to take pictures of the scene to support your case.
- While you are still located in the scene of the accident, take note of everything around you and get the contact details of any possible witnesses.
Educating your teen about how to react to their first car accident and how to act in the event of another similar incident helps parent build a solid bridge of communication with their teens.
Hand this checklist to your teen or keep a copy in the glove box of the car. Your teen driver may not be as experienced as you are, but you can always make a difference on their learning.