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What If Your Teenager Was Involved in an Car Accident?

In the State of Florida alone, literally thousands of car accidents occur on an annual basis. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 32,000 people lost their lives last year as a result, not to mention over 300,000 injuries that required hospitalization. Even though these stats signify a one percent decrease from the previous year, the number of 16 to 19 year-olds involved has remained relatively consistent. As parents, we’re aware of the many possible implications when letting our teens get behind the wheel; however, we can help prepare them in a number of areas if the unfortunate does take place. If your teenager was involved in a car accident, it’s truly a scary thought, yet guiding your son or daughter through the necessary steps can become an important lesson, one that may be the first of many along the way.

Planning Ahead

It’s a good idea to have an easily accessible accident package in the glove compartment, which should include a pocket-sized paper-pad and pen, documentation listing medical conditions/allergies, and a disposable camera. Having a few caution flares and warning triangles in the trunk can also help to steer other vehicles clear of the scene. If your teen has a cell phone, its multiple uses can also come in handy.

Try to Remain Calm

Even though the initial shock will likely rattle some nerves, let your teen know that it’s ok to process the incident and then transition into a clearer frame of mind. After taking a few deep breaths and calming down, the decision making process can be executed with some clarity.

Assessing the Severity

Tell your teen to take a look around and see how severe the circumstances are. Instinct will often allow your son or daughter to tell the difference between a fender-bender and a collision. No matter the case, calling 911 will allow dispatch to contact Florida law enforcement or an ambulance, if needed. If the hazard lights are still operable, turning them on will alert passersby that something’s amiss. It’s also important to move the vehicle out of harm’s way, or as close to the side of the road as possible.

Exchanging Information

After the dust settles, submitting auto insurance documents between drivers is standard protocol. Personal information, however, should be limited to names, license numbers, plate numbers, and mailing addresses.

Crash Damage Details

Taking pictures of the damages incurred via cell phone or disposable camera, as well as writing down details as to how the accident occurred can become helpful when determining fault or settling the case at hand.

All in all, having your teenager involved in an auto accident can be a traumatic experience for all parties involved. If it turns out that legal services are needed, we’ll be here to advise you on how to proceed concerning compensation or any other matters of importance as your family attempts to recover and resume normal activities. Hopefully, using preventive maintenance measures and the above information can help your teens navigate the road with caution, and the many obstacles that life has in store for them.

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