Teaching new drivers, especially a teen driver about accidents it daunting. Of course, you want to cover all of your bases and want to know that they understand the risks. But still, there’s the sneaking suspicion that you haven’t done enough.
Parents and guardians everywhere struggle to proactively prevent dangerous car accidents that may take their teen’s lives. Use a three-pronged approach to teaching new drivers about accidents and safe driving.
Talk About The Possibilities
Too often, teens take on new responsibilities with the thought that the worst-case-scenario couldn’t possibly happen to them. Unfortunately, if your child isn’t completely oblivious to the likelihood of a crash, they’re overly cautious, which is well-known for causing accidents. How can you reach that middle ground?
Always talk about the possibilities and talk about them often. Discuss them over a meal, and behind the wheel as well. If you’ve been in an accident, explain the situation and ask how they would have responded.
When you talk about the very real possibilities of a crash, be sure to explain a few key elements:
- You can be a safe driver and still be in a car accident.
- Car accidents don’t always happen because of incapable new drivers.
- People can cause a car accident and not be involved in the wreck (e.g., tailgaters and road rage driving)
- As the driver, you are in control of your actions and choices, but not the actions of other drivers.
These elements resonate a few key issues that teen drivers face. First, you’re acknowledging that they can be in a crash and it not be their fault. Second, your showing that safe drivers have accidents too. Third, you unveil that people driving irresponsibly don’t always end up in the crash, but they can make other drivers nervous, resulting in an accident. Finally, you give them the reigns or wheel in this case.
Explain the Facts
Not to scare your teen off driving, but they should know a few facts. Keep these stats on hand and make sure your teen understands how to avoid becoming another figure:
- In 2017 about 3,255 teens died in accidents.
- Most teens in accidents don’t wear seatbelts.
- About 54% of fatalities involving a teen driver resulted because of not wearing a seatbelt.
- Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.
- Teens are more likely to speed, underestimate distance, fail to recognize road hazards.
Tell Them How To Respond
Car accidents happen to most drivers, and your teen needs to know what to do after a crash. Walk them through these steps:
- If possible, safely pull over to the side of the road. Signal your intent.
- Make sure everyone in your vehicle is safe.
- Exit the vehicle and make sure everyone in the other vehicle is safe.
- If necessary, contact emergency medical response.
- Contact the police to see if they will respond to the scene.
- Contact your parents.
- Exchange information including driver’s license numbers, insurance policies, and vehicle information.
- Follow the direction of medical personnel or police on the scene.
- Contact your insurance company and attorney.
The most important thing for your teen to understand is that all of these steps can be done in a calm and collected manner.
Create a Kit for Your Car
Make a small envelope or bag with everything that your teen will need if they’re in a crash. Keep the vehicle’s insurance information, registration, and your contact information as well. You should also include notes to remind your child of what to do in an accident, with contact numbers as well. As part of these notes, you can include bits of information that your teen might not know, such as, “Don’t apologize” or “Don’t say it was your fault.”
Contact CAIL for Help After a Crash
After a crash, it’s difficult for anyone to know what the “right” step is, but the best decision you can make is to contact a car accident attorney. Simply meeting for a consultation can help you understand the many different facets of the crash. If the crash did involve a teen driver, it’s possible that the other driver will attempt to pin fault on them even if they did nothing wrong.
CAIL provides aid to the drivers within the Richmond area who are victims of car accidents. Anyone injured in a car accident or who experienced significant property damage and needs help with their claim can count on Commonwealth Accident Injury Law for guidance.
Contact CAIL to set up a consultation appointment where you can begin to put together your claim and demand.
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