Preparing for your son or daughter to go to college comes with many concerns so parents must formulate a plan of action to address certain responsibilities. Being a college student means your child will now be living independently. One of your biggest concerns for him/her may involve driving safely and how to handle the consequences of being involved in a car accident. Before your son/daughter leaves for college, find out what college students should know if involved in an auto accident.
Your college student has been enrolled in college for several months now and so far, has not been involved in any type of auto accidents, but THEN you get the phone call. Your child calls to say that he hit someone’s car resulting in pretty substantial damages, but luckily nobody was hurt. Auto accidents can create immediate signs of anxiety and panic, especially for younger drivers.
Below Are Some Helpful Tips for College Students Involved in an Auto Accident:
Remain Calm- It is natural to get upset when an accident happens. but it is important to remain calm and immediately contact the police. Upon their arrival, they will decipher the facts and determine responsibility.
Document Accident Scene- Upon getting out of your car, make sure others are safe and then proceed to document the accident scene by taking photos of ALL damages and the accident scene. Also check the surrounding area (especially in parking lot situations which are often difficult to determine fault) for security cameras and inquire promptly for the recordings.
Obtain Information- Make sure you secure all information from the other driver such as name, address, insurance information, injury, names of all passengers, make and model of the other vehicle involved. Keep in mind that if another person asks for personal information such as your social security #, decline immediately as this could lead to identity theft.
Don’t Admit Fault- Never assume responsibility; the less said, the better.
Obtain All Witness Information- Witness testimony is essential to any police investigation, especially when the details are cloudy. Make sure all witness’ names/addresses/phone #’s are documented and are available for testimony purposes.
Never Hit and Run- If your college student ever hits a parked car, it is never okay to leave the scene. Clearly iterate to him/her the importance of finding out who the owner is of the vehicle. If that is not possible, advise them to leave their name, phone number and insurance information on the windshield of the car.
Hopefully, your college student will not be involved in a car accident, however, being prepared is important in case they are. Being away from home and acting/driving independently, comes with its share of responsibilities. Sharing helpful tips with your college student will help them navigate the situation in case an accident does happen. Safe travels!