College Student and Auto AccidentsSending your son or daughter off to college comes with many mixed emotions.  You are pleased to see them embark on a new journey but concerned about their safety of living and driving independently for the first time.  Many things may cross your mind such as preparing your son or daughter on handling a car accident, should one happen.  Reinforcing safe driving practices has always been on your agenda so before your child leaves for college, enroll them in College Students and Auto Accidents-101.

Although you are aware that younger drivers are more likely to cause auto accidents, your daughter has never been involved in one…at least until NOW.  Your daughter and two friends were heading to dinner after exams when she failed to stop at a red light and hit another car.  Her car is totaled, and the other car has significant damages.  Luckily, no one was injured, but regardless, handling the consequences of an accident can be taxing.

Below Are Some Useful Tips for College Students Should an Accident Occur:

Don’t Panic- This is easier said than done; however, try to remain calm.

Don’t Hit and Run- Clearly enforce that it is NEVER okay to hit a car and leave the scene, even if nobody is in the car at the time.  If your college student hits a parked car and the owner is unidentified, advise him/her to leave a note on the windshield with the contact information (name, number, and insurance information).

Contact the Police- Immediately contact the police.  Upon their arrival, the officer will record and determine the cause of the accident.

Inspect and Document All Damages/Injuries– Make sure your college student knows to take photos of the accident scene along with damages to all vehicles involved. Take note of any injuries mentioned or obvious at the scene.

Never Admit Fault- The less said, the better.  Let the officer obtain accident details from each party and any witnesses.

Obtain Necessary Information- Make sure you obtain all information from the other driver (name, address, insurance information, make and model of the car) and any passengers in the car.

Secure Witness Information- Sometimes each driver can have their own version of what they remember happening, but keep in mind that having an accident is upsetting.  Witnesses are key to an accident investigation and can add important accident information to the investigating officer at the scene.  If a witness needs to leave before the police arrive, make sure their contact information is secured.

Hopefully, your college student will not be involved in an auto accident, however, reviewing safe driving tips along with guidelines on how to handle a car accident are just as essential as any class he/she may be taking.  Remember that going over this key information won’t prevent an accident from happening but can minimize the risks of one happening.  If you have any questions regarding your college student and car accidents, please feel free to contact our offices at 256-704-7400.