Chances are your teen would be shaken and struggle to know what to do first. Experiencing an accident, even a fender bender, can be pretty scary for a new driver. Teaching them what to do and how to carefully navigate the aftermath will not only empower them but it's part of becoming a responsible driver in Virginia.
Here at NNINS, we also know how important it is for their safety.
Empower your teen with the confidence of knowing how to handle things from start to finish with our recommended checklist and get peace of mind yourself!
Accident Checklist for Teen Drivers
1. Stay Calm and Alert
Stay in the car, keep your seat belt on, stay calm, and turn on your hazard lights. Look to see if other drivers are approaching the area. Never leave the scene of the crash before the police or the other driver.
Car hazard light button
2. Get Help
Dial 911 to report the accident and ask for help. If the other driver seems angry or agitated, don't engage with them. The 911 operator can further guide the process and provide important safety assistance. Limit discussion of details and facts of the accident and provide these details to the police officer.
3. Take Photos
But only if it's safe! Never get out of your car to examine damage or take pictures on a dark or busy road or highway. It may be safer to move the car off the road first. As soon as it is safe, take pictures of the road, damage to the cars involved, and anything else that tells the story of what happened. And c'mon now, resist the urge to text or snapchat right now - it's just not a good time.
4. Move Your Car
If the accident is minor, get your vehicle away from oncoming traffic and as far off the road as possible. Use the most generous shoulder of the highway, a shopping center parking lot, or driveway in a rural area.
5. Call Your Parent or Guardian
They just want to hear and know that you’re okay. Your parent may also want to come to the scene to assess the situation and give you a safe ride home. It doesn’t hurt to have the support either!
6. Get Witness Information
Ask anyone who saw the accident if they would be willing to provide that information to police or insurance providers. If so, get their name, address, and phone number. The more key information you have, the better.
7. Exchange Insurance Information With Other Parties Involved
Gather your information. You’ll need your license, car registration, and current insurance information. Get driver names, contact information, insurance names and policy numbers, make and model of the cars involved, and license plate numbers. Use your phone to take pictures of each.
8. Record The Details
This is smart to do after you’re safely at a stable location and the details of what happened are fresh in your mind. You can even use the voice recorder on your phone, including what happened before, during and after the accident.
9. Contact Your Independent Agent or Give us a Call
We’re here to help! Call our toll-free Claims Hotline at 1-877-968-7252.
10. Call For Emergency Roadside Assistance
If your car is not able to drive or if you’re not sure if it is, it’s better to call a tow truck than risk more damage or a breakdown trying to drive home.
NNINS Roadside Assistance at 1-800-913-8847 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We encourage you to print this and share it with your teen. They can even stash it in the glove box for a handy reference next to other important documentation. We hope your teen driver never has to use it, but it's always better to be safe and sound!