Teach Your Children What to Do If They're in a Car Accident

Real Estate Agent with John L Scott Market Center 700512026

Teach Your Children What to Do If They're in a Car Accident


Coming back from a listing photo session today, in heavy stop-and-go highway traffic, I had an unexpected interaction. A young and sweet 17-year-old in a very large Lincoln Navigator rear-ended me. 


This poor girl was crying by the time I got back to see her. She told me she'd never been in an accident and didn't know what to do.

Well, this almost 60-year old knows the ropes!

No one was hurt. And that is one of the first most important items on a checklist of what to do if your young driver is in an accident.

Check and see if anyone is hurt. That is the first thing to take care of IF someone is injured. Stay put, call 911.


After we got the particulars taken care of and drove off 20 minutes later,  I got to thinking later, that every parent needs to teach their young drivers about the checklist of information they need to garner before (hopefully) driving away from an accident that they've been involved in. 

Since most people get emotional or go into a bit of shock after an accident it is good to have something concrete, some form of checklist that they can adhere to.



So, here's my quick checklist that I think every young driver (or maybe even older) ought to have in their glove compartment:

1. Get the driver's license number and full name-you might even look at the expiration date just to be sure it's current.

2. Exchange insurance information including policy number and when the policy expires (they had it only til 4/15, but just hadn't put the new one in their vehicle), and name of the insurance company and the name of the person(s) on the policy. Also get the phone number of the insurance company which should be on the insurance card and even the name/phone number of the agent if possible . I showed her mine and she took a photo of it with her iphone. 

3. Get vehicle information including, make/model and license plate. 

4. Driver's contact information: phone number(s), e-mail address, home address.  

5. Note where/when  the accident took place to the best of your ability. The more thorough you are the better/quicker the solution for the insurance company/companies to take care of. 

6. As soon as you can, write down any recollection of how the accident occurred and what the other driver said happened according to them while it is fresh in everyone's mind. 

7. If possible, take photos of any damage to both vehicles or any other vehicles that were involved. 

8. If someone was a witness, get their information, too. (name, phone number, e-mail address). Write down what they saw or their version of what happened. 

9. Call your insurance company right away so that you go on record reporting the accident, even if you weren't at fault. 

10. Call the other insurance company, too and give them your version of what happened. 


Mine was pretty cut&dry as she rear-ended me when I was stopped in front of her. I asked her if she was on her phone. She said no. (That might be a good question to ask). She said that she didn't really know what happened as she doesn't usually drive her Mom's car and the brake system is different. She was so upset, I told her hey, we weren't hurt. Cars can be fixed or replaced. I calmed her down and took over in getting the valuable exchange of information taken care of. I happened to have had my cameras in my truck, so I took a variety of photos, just in case. I called my insurance company, even though I knew it was her fault, as I wanted a record of the incident just in case they had no insurance. Then I contacted her local agency, and since it was an automated message, I took down the 800# they gave me and I called that right away. 

Within a  couple of hours, I have a Claim#, they agreed that they are responsible and they are readily contacting me with bodyshops that they work with to seamlessly get through the process of having my vehicle fixed. All of this in less than 3 hours' time! 

When I spoke with the customer service person with this young lady's insurance company,  I mentioned that I was going to write a blog about this and he told me that he actually had a claimant, a young person whose dad got on the phone right away and they went through the process together so that the young person knew how it worked and he wasn't alone, so I'm sure it eased some of his angst. Very smart!

It's difficult when anyone goes through a car accident, but if they have a checklist  in their glove compartment along with their vehicle information, then if they go into shock and aren't clear about what to do, they have something concrete that they can follow which will undoubtedly help to get them focused. It might be good to have a notepad in the glove compartment with a pen, so they don't have to fumble around to find something to write on. 

Just as you help them practice their driving skills, this is also an important part of being a responsible driver that needs to be practiced as well. That way, if something should happen they know what to do! 


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Patricia Kennedy 12/30/2015 01:51 PM
  2. John Manuwal 01/01/2016 01:21 AM
  3. Karen Feltman 01/01/2016 10:28 AM
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

First, I'm glad no one was hurt.  Here, we have to call 911 and get a police report as well, but even they don't always check off all those boxes. Taking pictures and getting the information while on the scene are great ideas.

Jan 01, 2016 12:22 AM #31
Vera Gonzalez
RE/MAX Suburban, Inc. - Sterling Heights, MI
Gonzo For Real Estate

Excellent advice Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 !  Way to handle a difficult situation with patience and grace!

Jan 01, 2016 12:42 AM #32
John Manuwal
Keller Williams Northwest Montana - Kalispell, MT
Kalispell Montana Agent and Photographer

Glad your ok. That's a great list. Having a camera phone has made taking photos easier once her parents found out. The insurance tried all types of things. It did work out. What a hassle.

Jan 01, 2016 01:17 AM #33
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Gayle, The best news of all is that no one was injured.  Of course the young lady was upset ... but those emotions were calmed by a calm head who knew what to do.  You gave her that gift. Imagine who horrible it would have been for her if she had hit a raging maniac who yelled and screamed at her ... ???  And yes, parents need to teach their children ... not wait for the lesson to happen before they know what to do.

Jan 01, 2016 02:41 AM #34
Joan Dickie
Keller Williams Premier Realty - La Crosse, WI
Keller Williams Premier Realty

I'm glad it was only a fender bender.  

Another thing to note - if your accident was mild and you are in traffic, move your vehicle as soon as possible to a safe place to finish up.  You could end up causing more accidents behind you or you could be hit by a car moving beside you.  Safety first.

Jan 01, 2016 04:58 AM #35
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Great thoughts, everyone! I've been working all day on a brand new listing to go live tomorrow--busy with editing photos and doing the darned paperwork! 

I agree with all of your thoughts, and thank you for sharing your stories and expertise, as well. 

I'm off to get signatures on the listing paperwork!

Jan 01, 2016 07:00 AM #36
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

That is good and very important information, for anyone, but especially for young drivers. It's best to be prepared, at the very least to have the insurance packet in the glove compartment and start by calling them; the insurance company should help as well.

Jan 01, 2016 07:07 AM #37
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Thank you for sharing.  This is great advice for anyone, but especially for new drivers.  I shared it (re-blogged) as well because it meant that much to me.  I am going to get into my glovebox and get everything cleaned out and easy to find.  You never know when you might need it!  Better to be prepared!  And very timely with the new year.  Have a great weekend and I am glad that no one was hurt in your fender bender.

Jan 01, 2016 10:30 AM #38
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Gayle- first of all, I'm glad that neither of you were hurt.  And how lucky was she that it was you.... a kind and understanding person!!!  I'm so glad that this was featured because it's scary being in an accident whether you're 16 or 60!  We all should take your checklist and put it in our cars. 

Jan 02, 2016 03:49 AM #39
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Good advice for drivers of all ages. And thankfully this young driver 'ran into' someone who was both professional and compassionate. I wouldn't be surprised if you got a couple of referrals from this. Well done, Gayle!

Jan 02, 2016 12:23 PM #40
Annette Thor
Connecticut Homes and Commercial Fairfield Cty,CT reinct.com - Westport, CT
Residential & Commercial Real Estate Broker in CT

I wish I saw your post a few weeks ago Gayle. I will have to reblog this.  I got into a fender bender in a parking lot, and I kept wondering if I should take pics or video but I didnt because I wanted to get on with the evening and leave as soon as the police left and couldnt at the time think of an urgent reason why I'd need pics of ther other persons car....smh...

Jan 02, 2016 11:46 PM #41
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Gayle!

I included this post in today's summary of Last Week's Favorites on ActiveRain. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Jan 03, 2016 02:37 AM #42
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hello Gayle - I know what to teach only too well from my older daughter.  They do get scared for sure.

Jan 03, 2016 03:41 AM #43
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Just this past year I had to report on 2 accidents that my father had.  It always pays to take photos and getting the police involved if it involves some significant damage doesn't hurt either.

Jan 03, 2016 11:51 AM #44
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

What a great post, Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 .  She was sure lucky you were the unfortunat victime of her accident.  

Happy New year, Gayle!

Jan 03, 2016 01:36 PM #45
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

This such sound advice Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 

I missed you at first. I found this post through Patricia Kennedy 's post... 

Jan 03, 2016 02:28 PM #46
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

So glad everything turned out ok, and that neither of you were injured. Your post and checklist may help many people know what to do if they are in an accident.

Jan 04, 2016 10:00 AM #47
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Patricia Feager, MBA, GRI, Cert Negotiations Expert, Military Relo Prof worth sacving the post and sharing with children.

Luckily they are grown up now and know what to do - however, this is a very handy information that one must keep together - in car.

And first things first - check if everyone is safe.

Jan 04, 2016 03:02 PM #48
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I'm glad no one was hurt. I have never really thought about this. Fortunately my kids have only driven during the cell phone era and they have called me when they have been in accidents (never hurt thank heavens). 

Jan 05, 2016 01:27 AM #49
DEANNA EARLY - - ( NMLS # 268590 )
American National Bank & Trust - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Highest Ranked Mortgage Loan Originator Virginia

Very good post Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 . My retired law enforcement husband says you should get a gold star.   And you did.   Thankful that no one was hurt.

Jan 06, 2016 06:24 AM #50
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