A teenager involved in a car accident calling the police.

What to do when your teenager has a car accident

A teenager’s first car accident can be traumatic. Consider these tips to help prepare your teen before an accident happens and what to do if one occurs.

You may have taught your teen well. They probably wear their seatbelt and don't drive distracted, but accidents can still happen. You can also help prepare them by discussing steps to take if they get into an accident.

Before your teen gets on the road

Before your teen heads out, here are some steps to consider to be better prepared:

  • Consider downloading and setting up an insurance mobile app. The State Farm® mobile app enables you to have an accessible digital copy of your insurance card as well as agent contact information.
  • Confirm the insurance card and registration are in the vehicle and that all drivers know where it's located.
  • See that your teen knows how to use a mobile phone's camera to document any post-accident damage.

After-accident actions a teen might need to take

If involved in an accident, the first step is to ask: is anybody hurt? If anybody is injured, contact 911 emergency services for help immediately.

The second step is that your teen remains safe. That means getting out of the way if it can be done safely.

  • If the vehicle is drivable, move it to a safe spot on the shoulder or otherwise out of the way of traffic.
  • Turn on hazard lights and set up emergency cones, if available.
  • Get out of the vehicle, unless it is unsafe to do so.
  • If the vehicle is not safe to drive, obtain assistance by phone if needed. Or you may prefer to use the mobile app to contact Roadside Assistance to arrange a tow. Roadside service through State Farm is available 24 hours a day.

Once in a safe location, call the police no matter how bad the accident. For minor accidents, your teen may need to file a police report on his or her own. Even if an accident happens on private property, such as a parking lot, contact the police to report the incident. Depending on the severity of the accident, the police may or may not come out to make a report.

After the police have been notified and your teen is in a safe spot, you can let them know it's the right time to call you and take steps to record all the accident details.

  • Consider using the mobile app to alert the insurance company and/or agent about the accident and help begin the claims process.
  • Collect information — whether on paper, in the mobile app or any other preferred manner — such as contact and insurance details for anyone else involved in the accident.
  • Remind your teen to verify and record if the other driver is the owner of the car. If not, obtain the owners name too.
  • Have your teen take notes about what he or she remembers of the accident. If using the mobile app, they can add notes and upload photos, too. (There will be photo reminders of what to take and how many images are needed in the app.)
  • Your teen should ask for and keep a copy of any police report made.

What your teen should never do after an accident

  • Don't leave the scene before alerting authorities to report the accident.
  • Don't try to assign blame.
  • Don't sign anything from anyone other than the police.

After your teen reports an accident

Available coverage and determination of fault will help outline how repairs and other costs, including medical bills, are paid for. The mobile app by State Farm can help track the status of the claim.

Also check with your teen and ask how they are feeling. Accidents can be scary, and being supportive may help them process what happened.

Now that you have learned some tips to help prepare your teenager in the case of a car accident, you may be interested in reading about teen passenger safety, teen texting and driving or safety tips for teen drivers. And consider contacting a State Farm® agent for all your insurance needs, including car insurance for teenagers or new drivers.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company­
State Farm Indemnity Company
Bloomington, IL

State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas
­Richardson, TX

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