No matter who you are, getting into a car accident is a scary experience. Not only is the initial impact and shock of the event tough to deal with, but you also have the aftermath, which could include injuries or damage to your vehicle. While getting into a car accident is bad enough, it is even worse when it happens to one of your kids. If your kid has gotten into a car accident – especially if it is their first one – here is what you should try to do to help them through it.
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Make Sure They Are Okay
The first thing you will obviously want to do is make sure they are okay. If they are calling you right after the accident, you will want to ask them if they’ve been hurt. Being a little shaken up is to be expected, but pay extra attention to any physical injuries. Even if your child has received only minor injuries, you will want to get them checked out by a doctor. If your child is in even graver danger, you will want to find out where they are and call an ambulance for them. Once you have found out if they are okay, you should check to see if anyone else was involved in the accident, such as other drivers or passengers, and then find out their condition as well.
Help Them Deal With The Accident
For kids who have gotten into their first accident, you will likely need to walk them through the procedure, or show up at the location if you can. Make sure they talk to any other drivers involved, and that insurance information is swapped. You should also advise your child to take pictures of the accident, and to get the contact information from the other driver, along with the make and model of the car, and the license plate number. If your child’s car needs to be towed, you can recommend them a service, and get them the phone number, along with helping them to arrange a ride home. This may be overwhelming for your child if it is their first accident, so give them as much guidance as you can.
Find Out The Extent Of The Damage
After the accident, you’ll need to find out what kind of shape the car is in. If it only received a few minor dents or scratches, then your child will likely still be able to drive it. On the other hand, in the case of a more serious accident, you’ll need to find out if you have a total loss car, or if the car can be saved with repairs. Sometimes the accident is so severe that there is no way the car can be fixed, and in others you could be in for some costly repairs. Talk to the auto shop, and discuss the options with your child to see what they can afford.
Help Them Get Around or Find A New Car
Until the car is fixed or replaced, your child will need some help getting around. To assist them, you could let them borrow your car from time to time, help them afford a new car, or give them rides when they need it. Kids tend to be on limited funds as it is, so they may need assistance until they are back on their feet and able to afford repairs or purchase another car. Both you and your kid will likely be inconvenienced by this, but if your kid has places they need to get, there isn’t much else you can do.
Talk About Safe Driving
Finally, whether the accident your child was involved in was their fault or not, it is a good idea to go over safe driving techniques with them. Remind them of things like always wearing a seat belt, avoiding distractions while driving, and obeying all of the rules of the road. Even if you think your kid isn’t listening, this accident may serve as a wake-up call. If they are lucky, your child got out of this accident without any injuries, but that may not be the case next time. By learning from any mistakes that happened during this accident, you can make them less likely to happen again in the future.
When you first hear your child got into an accident, your first instinct is likely to panic. However, once you have made sure they are okay, your next objective should be to help them out as much as you can. This may be their first time going through it, and they could be more overwhelmed than they are letting on. Help them in any way that you can, and guide them through this trying process.