All car accidents take a heavy toll on all individuals involved in the accident. However, things can be even more difficult when our children are involved in a car mishap. I sincerely hope and pray that your teens never run into such incidents. However, it really helps to know what a parent should do under such difficult situations. Always remember that when a teenager is involved in an accident, their emotional health is the most important factor to focus on. Everything else can be dealt with later on.
Enquire about Your Child’s Health: When you first come to know about the accident, your initial comments must be focused around your child’s health and others involved in the incident. Even if you are worried about the damage to your car, don’t talk about it right away. Accidents can be much more traumatic for a teenager than you think. In these circumstances, most of them feel that they have failed themselves, as well as, their parents. They also understand that the accident has its financial consequences that their parents will have to bear. Therefore, as a parent, your job is to reassure them that they are not a failure by any means.
Go to the Accident Scene: Get to the accident scene as early as possible because your presence will provide the much-needed emotional support to your kid. Your presence on the scene will also act as a buffer from other parties involved in the accident because these individuals are not likely to be understanding of a teenager’s mistake.
Moreover, you will also get an opportunity to inspect the accident scene and understand what actually happened. It is likely that your child will be in a state of shock. On his or her behalf, collect detailed information of the other parties involved in the accident, and take photos of the accident scene. Also, if the police have still not arrived at the scene, protecting crash site evidence is important. Once the police arrive, try to collect a copy of their accident report.
If your child is injured in the accident, take him or her to a nearby medical facility, and arrange proper care as early as you can. Don’t forget to collect the detailed examination report from the facility, because this will help you while filing an insurance claim.
Call the Insurance Company: Your next important task is to call the insurance company. Provide them all the details you have about the accident so that they can process your claim immediately. During this entire process, have your child nearby, so that he or she can hear everything. First, the insurer may ask questions that you may not be able to answer. Second, by being a part of this discussion, your child will understand how auto insurance policies work, which will certainly benefit them in the long run.
As time goes by, your child will gradually come out of the stressed emotional state caused by the accident. However, in the aftermath of the accident, the parents must do certain things.
Reinforce the value of responsible driving: Remind your child of the potential consequences of driving too fast, using mobile devices while driving, and distracted driving. This may end up becoming an emotional discussion, but will surely make your kid more responsible in the future while driving. It is also a good idea to have them enrolled in a local driving safety class.
Get them back to driving: After an accident, your teen may feel hesitant to start driving again. However, once the emotions settle down, try to get them back in the driving seat as soon as possible. If required, be with them for the first few times to provide a sense of comfort and security.