I recently posted an article about getting your children ready for their first car driving experience. There were so many things I could’ve spoken about in that piece but it would’ve been too long, and a few points strayed a little off topic. Instead, I’ve decided to follow that piece up with this one dedicated to a specific problem your teens will face when driving; accidents. No, not the same type of accidents they used to have every night in bed – though they might get close to that stage when taking their test! I’m talking about actual car accidents here when one car crashes into another one, and a whole load of bad stuff goes down.
I want to talk to you about the importance of teaching your kids about car accidents, as well as some of the key things you should teach them. Have a read if you’ve got a teen about to start driving.
Why Teach Your Teens About Car Accidents?
I’m surprised at how many parents don’t teach their kids about car accidents. A lot of them seem to not think it’s worth teaching. I can tell you right now that no driving instructor bothers to run through the steps to follow after an accident, so how will your child know what to do? More to the point, as it says on the DOSomething website, 16-year-olds crash their cars more often than anyone else. This puts your teens in the high-risk category for accidents. It’s common sense really, they’re novice drivers, they won’t have as much experience on the roads, and are more likely to crash.
So, to me, it makes a lot of sense to educate your children about car accidents. They have to know what to do when one happens, and how to try and avoid them.
Teaching Your Teen About Car Accidents
Again, it surprises me that this isn’t mandatory as part of their driver’s education course, but your child has to be prepared for an accident. Hopefully, they’ll never ever have to apply any of these steps as they’ll never get in an accident. But, we’ve established there’s a high chance they will, so preparation is key.
Firstly, they need to check the health of everyone in their car after an accident. Make sure everyone is okay, then make sure the other car’s passengers are okay too. Here, you need to call medical assistance if anyone is hurt. Also, you should clear everyone from the scene if the cars are on fire.
Next, you have to talk to the other driver and DON’T ADMIT FAULT! I know, you’ve spent 16 years telling your kids to own up to their wrongdoings, but now’s not the time for that. If you say sorry or do something that admits fault, it puts you in the wrong, and the other driver has the upper hand. You should exchange details here, giving out your registration number, name, and insurance details. Don’t give them anything else, that’s all they need.
At this point, you can call roadside assistance if the car is severely beaten up. If not, get back in your car and drive home safely. Then, give your insurance provider a ring and let them know what’s happened. They’ll get to work contacting the other car’s insurers, and you can work on figuring out who pays for what, etc. Also, if anyone was injured, you should contact a lawyer. As it mentions on the DKB Personal Injury Law website, a car accident lawyer can help you get money if you’ve been injured in an accident. Your children should be made aware of this as it can help them gain extra compensation for physical damages. So, if they’ve got a bit of whiplash, they can still try and get some compensation.
After this, all the legal matters and insurance issues will be discussed between the two parties, and everything gets sorted. You will see if you have to pay for any repairs, and the person at fault will be decided too. A lot of this happens behind the scenes, and you should be with your teen to help them when their insurance provider calls or if they have to appear in court to solve legal matters.
These are the basic steps that follow an accident, now let your child know about them! The main things to drill into their skull are; everyone health and safety comes first, never admit fault, and always ensure you get the right info from the other driver.
Teaching Your Child How To Avoid Accidents
Learning what to do after an accident is kind of a worst case scenario thing. Ideally, it doesn’t come to that, and you can play a role in helping your teen avoid accidents. One thing you should do is take them out to tricky areas in your area where accidents are common. Point out junctions and give them tips for navigating them safely or provide alternate routes, so they avoid them altogether. I’m sure everyone has a few roads or junctions near their home that cause lots of accidents, and your experience has taught you how to avoid them.
Finally, teach them the importance of staying concentrated on the road ahead of them. Distracted driving kills people every day and is one of the top causes of car accidents. They know they shouldn’t use their phone while they drive, and I suggest confiscating it while you teach them. This gets them in the habit of not being on their phone, and they should translate this habit when they drive on their own. Throw a few shocking facts their way too, just to kind of scare them into taking things seriously. It sounds a little bit mean, but scare tactics are often the best way to get your child to do anything!
There you have it; a guide of sorts to teaching your teen driver about car accidents. You can see why it’s important for them to know what to do, and the actual steps involved too. I mentioned that other teen driver post at the start of this piece, if you want to read it, then click here. Bye for now, and I hope you enjoyed this piece!