Dealing With A Teen’s First Car Accident
No matter how well you may have taught your teen to drive, chances are he or she is going to get in an accident. Some safe driving techniques have to be experienced, not learned, which means there’s really nothing you can do to fully prevent a wreck from happening. What you can do is learn to deal with the aftermath that follows in a dignified and graceful manner. Here are some tips to help you get through that first car accident.
Focus on What Matters
Before you start yelling at your child, make sure that everyone in the accident is okay. You can worry about your car and the cost of damages once you know your child is safe. If you’re at the scene, make sure you get the other driver’s insurance papers, even if the accident was your teen’s fault. Then file a police report to document the event.
Assess the Damages
You need to get a feel for how bad the accident was. Do you need to get the car repaired, or can you deal with the minimal damage that resulted? Does the story your child told you about the accident match the visible damage on the exterior? Can the car function in its current state? Check all of the important facts before over-reacting so you can make a logical plan.
Pick a Punishment
Your teen may or may not need to be punished, depending on how the accident occurred. If he or she was at fault, the wrecked car alone may be punishment enough. Otherwise, you may want to ask the teen to work to pay off the damages, or you might take away a certain privilege for a week. You know how to get through to your child.
Practice and Retrain
Once the punishment phase subsides, you will need to work with your child to get back behind the wheel. Take him or her back out for driving lessons and see what problems need to be corrected. Your child has to understand that having a license doesn’t always mean that he’s ready to drive. He may still have some learning left to do.
This is going to be a stressful time in your life, but you can get through it with the tips above. If you never have to go through an accident with your teen, consider yourself lucky. Otherwise, keep your cool and reprimand accordingly. Your kid will be a better driver in the end.
About the Author: Maria Chatoon is a mother of three who has experienced teen car accidents from both sides. If your teenager is the victim of someone else’s negligence, make sure you get advice from a whiplash claims solicitor to earn the compensation you deserve.