When your teenage driver experiences a car accident, their first reaction in a moment of panic might be to call you. The best thing you can do is calmly walk your teen through the next steps they should take.
It is important to remember that getting angry and casting blame will not be helpful in resolving the issue at hand. While there may be a time and place for using the situation as a teaching opportunity, you should first focus on the things you should do as a parent to help your teen after a car accident.
Prioritize medical treatment
It is always of the utmost importance to seek medical attention after an accident. Even if your teenager claims to feel fine after the ordeal, consider enforcing a visit to the physician anyway. Many injuries and symptoms can go unnoticed for hours or days after an accident.
File an insurance claim
Regardless of who is at fault in the accident, it is always necessary to file a claim with your auto insurance provider. Help your teen understand the process of reporting an accident and exchanging information with the other driver involved in the crash. In the event that the insurer attempts to lowball or otherwise take advantage of your teen due to their inexperience, it may be necessary to take legal action.
While it is true that some teens can be reckless drivers, experiencing an accident for the first time often inspires feelings of guilt or even shame. Instead of piling blame onto your teen, it can be much more productive to gently guide them on the path to resolving the matter and helping pursue legal action if necessary.