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Does your college student (and other family members) know what to do if they are involved in a car accident?

Going away to college is a big deal, and it comes with a lot more responsibility. One of them is being a responsible driver. What if they are in an accident or accused of hitting someone else’s car? Do they know what to do?

Here are a few tips that may be helpful.

  • Stay calm and don’t assume responsibility. If the police are called, they will make the determination. If in a parking lot and the police aren’t called, the insurance company will make the determination, if possible.
  • Gather your own evidence. Take pictures at the scene, especially if the accident happened in a parking lot as the police do not always respond to parking lot accidents. Check the surrounding businesses for security cameras. It’s important to do this within a day or two as the recordings may not be retained for very long.
  • Obtain information. Your insurance company will need the name of the driver as well as the name of the owner of the vehicle (if the driver isn’t the owner); the make and model of the car; the license plate number; and car insurance information – carrier, policy number, and claims phone number.
  • Don’t provide more information to the other party than what they need. Never give the other party your driver’s license number or your social security number. This could lead to identity theft, and you don’t want your identity stolen.
  • If you hit a parked car, try to find the owner of the vehicle. If you aren’t able to locate them, leave a note on the car with all of your information like your name, make and model of your car, and insurance information.

Hopefully, your student will never be in an accident, but if they are, these tips will help them navigate the process with no detours or roadblocks.

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