If it's a serious accident or if anyone is hurt in anyway, call 911 before you do anything else.
After calling 911, or in the event of a minor traffic incident, follow these steps:
If you're teaching a new driver in your family about what to do in the event of an accident, be sure to write these steps down and put them in the glove compartment along with your insurance agent's phone number. It's hard for a young driver to remember these steps when they're feeling scared about having been in an accident.
Be sure to add "call mom and dad!" to a new driver's accident check list.
I remember the day my oldest daughter got her driver's license. She was so excited, but I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. As an insurance agent, I not only know all the safety statistics for teenage drivers, I also know some stories first hand.
Drivers 16 to 19 years of age have more crashes than any other age group.
I was worried. I sat my daughter down and gave her the following tips:
1. Don’t look at any technology when you are driving!!
It doesn't matter if you've already heard this a million times. The statistics show that looking at phones and other technology is a leading cause of accidents. It’s also against the law in Illinois.
2. Be aware of what’s going on around you.
Not on your phone. Not with your music. A high percentage of accidents involving young drivers are caused by being unaware of potential hazards and situations.
Unfortunately, my daughter was involved in a car accident caused by another driver ignoring a yield sign. While my daughter did not cause the accident, she may have been able to prevent the accident by simply being aware of the drivers around her.
3. Slow down.
Driving too fast for road conditions is another key factor in accidents with young drivers. It’s even more difficult to control a car when driving in hazardous conditions if the driver is driving too fast.
I told my daughter that driving a car can be fun and exciting, but it’s also a responsibility. Take precautions so you don’t become a statistic.
Even with the best of drivers, accidents can happen. Be sure your teenaged driver knows what to do in the event of an accident. Refer to our blog post What To Do When An Accident Happens for more information.
If you have any questions about insuring your new driver, contact us today. I'm happy to talk you through your insurance options, including ensuring that you receive all possible rate discounts like those available for good grades.