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Make sure your teen knows what to do after a vehicle crash

Like every other parent, you dreaded receiving a late-night call from your teen driver saying there had been a car accident.

After confirming Mary is OK, you will want to meet her at the accident site. But first, does she know the steps to take after an accident?

Place calls

Even if Mary seems fine except for frayed nerves, she should seek prompt medical attention since she could have underlying injuries. In fact, if anyone involved in the accident appears to have injuries, your teen driver should call 911 and then report the accident to the police. You might also call your attorney for legal guidance on insurance matters and compensation for potential injuries.

Never apologize

Mary should exchange insurance information with the other driver but avoid apologizing in any way since that could imply guilt. Advise her to keep verbal communication to a minimum and let law enforcement sort out the details when they arrive on the scene.

Take notes and pictures

Recommend that Mary jot down notes such as the date, time and location of the accident, the weather and contact information for any witnesses. Mary can use her cell phone to take pictures of the crash scene, damage to vehicles and any visible injuries to those involved.

Keep an accident checklist

Provide your teen with a written checklist of steps to take after a vehicle accident that she can keep in the glove box of the car. This plus the reassurance of your love and support will help increase her confidence about post-crash responsibilities if an accident should happen.