Would your teen driver know what steps to take in a fender bender? Your Teen caught up with the experts to find out.
1. Pull over and call 911.
Find a safe place on the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. Call 911 and ask them to send a police officer to the scene. If you or anyone else is hurt, request an ambulance.
Note: In many states, if no one is hurt and the damage is under $1,000—a minor scratch or dent—it is not necessary to call the police. But in other states, it’s required. If you’re not sure of your state’s laws, call the police.
And, you may want to call the police, regardless of your state’s laws. For starters, you may not know what $1,000 in damage looks like. And, filing a police report protects you—and your parents—if the other driver is less scrupulous.
2. Call your parents.
Let your parents know what happened.
“Take your cell phone and snap pictures of the damage to the cars, license plate number, driver license and insurance cards,” advises Maryam Parman, a legal expert in Irvine, California. Also get the contact information for all witnesses.
4. Stick to small talk.
Be polite to the other driver, but avoid getting into an in-depth conversation about the accident, including who was at fault. If the other driver is being rude or aggressive, wait in your car until the police arrive.
5. If you can still drive the car, head home and call the insurance company.
If you cannot drive the car, call a tow truck.
This article is part of Your Teen’s regular series on teaching teenagers the practical skills they’ll need to live away from home. Other articles in our Move Out series include How to Do Laundry, Making Lunch and First Aid Basics.