I got the call that no parent wants to get. My son was in a car accident and was calling me for guidance on how to handle the situation. I work for an insurance company, and even I was caught off-guard when he needed advice. At that moment, I wished that I had run through some basic “street smarts” with him before handing over the keys.
Some tips to reinforce with your young driver:
- Traffic stop – Pull over to the right quickly but safely. Turn off the car, roll down the window, and place both hands on the steering wheel. Let the officer do the talking and wait for directions from the officer before retrieving anything.
- Roadside assistance – Keep contact information handy for any roadside assistance you carry through your auto insurance or other private provider.
- Engine oil – How to check the engine oil level, what type of oil to add when it’s low, and how often to have the oil changed.
- Car battery – Where to find the jumper cables and how to use them safely.
- Accident protocol – When an accident happens, call 911, take pictures of everything including the surroundings, exchange information with the other party, do not make any admissions of fault, and do not leave the scene until the police arrive.
- Dashboard indicator lights – What they mean when illuminated; the check engine light and low oil pressure indicator are two important ones.
- ABS brake system – It can be unnerving when the anti-lock brake system kicks on, especially if you don’t know what to expect and how to react. Keep pressure on the pedal even if it’s pulsing and continue to steer.
- Insurance identification card – Maryland law requires drivers to possess an insurance card when driving a motor vehicle. Insurance follows the car, not the driver, so be sure to know where the insurance card is kept (in addition to the registration) when borrowing a vehicle.
- Tire pressure – What is the recommended psi, how to check the pressure on the tires and the spare.
- Flat tire – How to change a tire and where the equipment and spare are located.
Driving comes with such great responsibility. At Goldsborough Insurance, we want to support your new driver in any way that we can. Our office has Accident Report Guides that can be kept in your glove box, please call (410-377-2111) or email (Terri@Goldsborough.com) if you would like us to send you one. We can also send an additional insurance ID card if needed. Good luck out there!