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Helping your teen heal emotionally after their first crash

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Auto Accidents

If your teen earned their driver’s license within the last year, they may be doing a lot more driving this summer than they did when they only had a learner’s permit. That means their chances of a crash will increase. It’s important to understand that the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is referred to as the “100 deadliest days” of the year for teen drivers. Nearly a third of fatal teen crashes every year occur during this period.

Yet, if your teen has already been in their first crash and suffered some injuries, you’re probably more focused on their physical healing than you are the future of their driving career. It’s also crucial, however, not to ignore their emotional healing.

Signs to watch out for

That first crash, particularly if it’s serious, can take a heavy emotional toll on a young driver. Even if they weren’t at fault, they may still be second-guessing themselves and how they could have prevented it. They may be replaying it on a loop in their head or to anyone who will listen.

This is one sign that your teen is having some difficulty processing the crash and moving on. Other signs include changes in their eating or sleeping habits and trouble concentrating. Unless these changes are symptoms of their physical injuries, it’s important to make sure they don’t continue.

If your teen has already said they’re never going to drive again, you may feel a bit of relief. However, it’s important not to let them make that decision out of fear. They can’t just stop doing something that will make their life easier, and may be necessary, because they have had a bad experience.

Steps that can help with healing

Helping them ease back in to driving gradually once they’re physically healed enough to get behind the wheel can be beneficial. The sooner they do that, the sooner they’ll likely heal emotionally.

Also, don’t rule out therapy. A lot of people of all ages go to therapy to deal with the aftermath of car crashes. This can help them process their feelings constructively and pinpoint the reasons for their fears and negative feelings. Remember the cost of mental health treatment can be included in damages just as medical treatment is.

While parents typically should be the ones primarily dealing with insurance claims, you can help your teen regain some sense of control by letting them participate in the process. It’s also good practice for the future. To help ensure that you’re getting the compensation you’re due, it can help to seek legal guidance as proactively as possible.