It is one of the greatest fears a parent can have.
They receive a call that their teenager has been in an auto accident.
After making sure their son or daughter is not hurt, the next thought likely turns to the vehicle. How much damage was there? Is it going to be salvageable or will it mean buying a replacement? Last, will your teen be hesitant to get behind the wheel once again after such an accident?
From when they got a learner’s permit to where they are now in their driving, you want to make sure they stay confident. Whether a young driver or more experienced one, being shaky as a driver can lead to accidents more times than not.
So, what needs do your child and you have after they’ve been in an auto accident?
From Their Well-Being to Regaining Confidence
Among the most pressing needs for your teen and you after they’ve had an accident:
- Physical well-being – Of course the most pressing matter is their physical well-being. From a fender-bender to a more involved accident, you want to make sure your loved one is not in any physical danger. Remember, even a bump on the head can mean a concussion or even traumatic brain injury (TBI). Make sure your child gets a check by EMT’s and a doctor if necessary. Last, in the event your child did suffer broken bones, you want to make sure they get treatment now and for the long haul. Such injuries can take time to heel, meaning your child may need some physical therapy etc.
- Mental well-being – As big as checking for physical injuries is, don’t miss emotional ones. Your teen may feel as if they let you down by being in an accident. They may also begin to question their driving abilities. This can be the case especially when they have only been behind the wheel for a short period of time. Do your best to talk with them and reassure them that they can be a good driver for many years to come. Sure, falling off of a bicycle and getting back on is not as serious as an auto accident. It may take some time and reassurance, but do your best to get your teenager driving once again.
- Your emotions – Even a fender-bender can rattle some parents. That said do your best to remain calm. Teenagers often look to their parents for strength, especially in moments of crisis. By showing your teen you care about and have faith in them, they are less likely to have negative effects. Also make sure that you do not stress about them getting behind the wheel once again. If you have a lack of confidence in their driving abilities, it more times than not will show itself to them.
Making it an Educational Experience
Although auto accidents are not fun, they can prove educational for all parties.
As such, question your teen before they decide once again to get behind the wheel.
Among the areas of interest:
- Was your teenager distracted by a cell phone when they got into their accident?
- Did they dose off before getting into the accident?
- Were they preoccupied with a friend in the vehicle before crashing?
- Was any reckless driving involved?
By learning from what is their first and you hope only accident, you and your teen will be the better for it.