Students and Teen Drivers

Accident Preparedness Helps Teens Avoid Costly Mistakes

This article is for parents. If you are a student, visit our Accident Preparation Guide for Students.

Young adults are especially susceptible to accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young drivers ages 16 through 19 are more likely to get into car accidents — especially fatal accidents — than drivers who are 20 and older. That makes accident preparedness an extremely important part of a young driver’s education.

For more information on accident preparedness, visit our Accident Guide. Learn about essential accident preparedness items and how to behave in the event of an accident. Follow the tips and share them with your teen. Preparing for the worst is sometimes the best course for avoiding it, and in the case of student drivers, parents sometimes take the most basic, commonly known precautions for granted.

Wearing a Seat Belt is the Law. Make it a Household Rule.

Most importantly, every driver, regardless of age, should wear seat belts. This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but research by the CDC indicates that young drivers often do not wear seat belts, which may account for the fact that young drivers ages 18 through 24 have the highest collision-related injury rates among adults. As a result, seat belts are an essential part of accident preparedness education. Consider including mandatory seat belts for all drivers and passengers as part of your driving contract.

Program Emergency Numbers into your Teen’s Cell Phone

Your teenager will probably balk at the idea of letting you meddle with her contact information, but if she’s ever in an accident, she’ll appreciate being able to find emergency numbers easily. Another way to prepare for a student car crash is to give your student driver the phone numbers for roadside assistance and your insurance company, which she can keep in the glove compartment. Walk your student through the process of responding to an accident so that they’ll know how to document damage and exchange information. Additionally, instruct your teen how to file a police report and an insurance claim.

Make Sure They Move to The Side of the Road After A Crash

In the event of an accident, make sure your teenager knows to move the car to the side of the road or to a safe spot before stopping or exiting the vehicle. Your teen might be shaken up or in shock after their first accident, but neglecting to follow this step could lead to an even more serious accident, or at the very least, a ticket for blocking the road.

The aftermath of accidents can be unsettling for drivers of all ages. With a little education on accident preparedness and response, however, your student driver will be able to react in a calm and safe manner. When accidents are handled incorrectly, even the smallest of fender benders can become costly mistakes.