It's back to school time and thousands of students around the United States are headed off to college. Some college Freshman are not allowed to have cars their first year on campus but for many students, cars are a necessity.
Did you know that in some states, parents of students who are in accidents may encounter "vicarious liability" claims? Vicarious liability involves the idea that the owner of a vehicle maintains responsibility for any accident involving that vehicle regardless of the driver.
So how do you avoid being responsible for the fender bender you college student is involved in while away at school? Talk with your child about the various scenarios that could result in your and their liability.
- Never lending the car to a friend or roommate
- Learning and understanding all traffic rules and regulations of a new city, state, or country
- Avoid driving in unfamiliar areas without a plan and gps navigation
- Absolutely NO TEXTING and driving
- Absolutely NO DRINKING or DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
There are also measures you can take involving insurance and car ownership that will protect you while your student is away.
- Increase your policy to cover more than liability to protect against accident/replacement costs
- Name your student's college dorm or residence as a place of coverage to your homeowners insurance
- Put the registration of the vehicle in your student's name
- Install monitoring devices that will keep track of your student's location, driving speed and will actually record details if an accident occurs that can be helpful in establishing fault
There are so many things to consider when sending a child off to college but often car safety and protection is overlooked.
We hope your student is safe but we know that accidents do happen. If you or someone you know is involved in an automobile accident, contact our office immediately for a FREE consultation. We can help.