If your teen is about to get their driver's license, they'll be driving by themselves soon. That means you'll no longer be there to coach them along, or help them through difficult situations. Now's the time to prepare them for the responsibility they'll face as a licensed driver. This is also the time for you to teach them about the actions they should take in an emergency, such as a car accident. You might have already talked to them about the steps they should take if they're involved in an accident that isn't their fault. However, have you talked to them about the steps they should take if they are at fault for the accident? You should. The steps they take immediately following an accident that they've caused, will help them through the entire process. Here are four steps you should discuss with your teen before they begin driving alone.
After an accident, it's normal for adrenaline to start pumping. Unfortunately, that adrenaline rush can cause people to act irrationally, or to become agitated. If your teen causes an accident, they need to remain as calm as possible, especially once the first responders arrive – EMTs, police officers, etc. Remaining calm will help prevent altercations between those who were involved in the accident, as well as between your teen and responding officers.
Keep Conversation Brief
Once your teen exits the car, they may want to talk to those who were involved in the accident. While it's fine to make sure that everyone is okay, any further conversation should be kept brief. Here are two topics they shouldn't discuss.
Don't Discuss Blame
First, your teen should know that they should never take blame for the accident, especially at the scene. They shouldn't say they're sorry, or acknowledge that they were responsible in any way.
Don't Discuss Details
After the accident, your teen may want to discuss what happened. However, they shouldn't have any of those discussions while at the scene of the accident. This should include conversations with witnesses, drivers of the other vehicles, or even passengers in their own vehicle. Details regarding the accident should be limited to conversations held with police officers, and attorneys.
Wait Until Everyone Else Leaves
If your teen is involved in an accident, they may want to leave the scene as soon as possible. If the other parties are still on scene, your teen should stay there too. Leaving the scene too early will give the other parties an opportunity to discuss the accident one-on-one with the responding officers. Instruct your teen to remain on the scene until all the other people involved in the accident have left.
Hire an Auto Accident Attorney
As soon as you've been informed of the accident, you'll need to hire an attorney for your teen, such as from the firm of Bangel, Bangel, & Bangel. This is particularly important if there could be other drivers who should share responsibility for the accident. Your attorney will be able to look at the evidence, including the accident reports, and know how to protect your teen's rights. They may also be able to find evidence that points blame away from your teen.