What happens if there is a drivers ed crash?

Determining fault is complicated for crashes that involve a student driver accompanied by an instructor. That's because part of the instructor's job is to intervene when necessary to avoid an accident. Depending on the accident circumstances, the instructor may be at fault or may share fault with the student driver, especially when the crash is in a driver's ed car with dual controls. For example, if the student fails to notice a stop sign, the instructor's job is to hit the brakes. If the instructor isn't paying attention, they may be held at least partially responsible.

However, if the student driver was driving recklessly and intentionally ignoring road signs or the instructor's directions at the time of the accident, then the student driver would most likely be found at fault for the accident.

Depending on what happened, the instructor may be at fault or may share fault with the student driver.

Of course, if the other driver in the crash was at fault and the student driver did nothing wrong, then the other driver's liability insurance coverage should pay for injuries and the damage to the school's car.

What happens in a car accident with a learner's permit driver in a personal vehicle?

If the student driver is logging practice hours in a personal vehicle, such as a parent's car, then they may be held responsible for damages they cause, as with any other crash. In this case, the parents' auto policy would likely cover the damages, assuming the student driver is listed on, or otherwise covered by, their policy.

What happens if you crash during a driving test?

Student drivers can be responsible for damages they cause during a road test, just like they would be if they had their license. Requirements for road test cars vary from state to state but generally, students have to provide their own vehicle for the test. If they're using a family vehicle for the test, their parents' policy should cover them if they get into an accident.

If they're driving a vehicle borrowed from a friend or a rental from a driving school, the friend's or driving school's insurance may provide coverage. However, exactly whose insurance would pay for damages would depend on the circumstances of the accident.

Does a student driver need insurance?

Yes, but they may not need their own policy. If you have a student driver in the house driving a family vehicle that's already insured, you should ask your insurer what you need to do to make sure the student driver is protected. It may be as simple as adding them as a driver on the existing car insurance policy. Even if your insurance company doesn't require you to add them as a driver while they're learning (they may be covered automatically by your family policy), you'll need to add them once they get their license.

If the student driver has their own car registered in their name (as with an adult learning to drive, for example), then they may choose to have their own policy or share a policy with someone they live with.

What should you do if you have an accident while practicing with a learner's permit?

Like any other accident, you should exchange insurance information with the other driver, call the police, and then wait for help. You'll probably need to provide a statement and take photos of the damage. You should also notify your insurance company of the accident to be on the safe side, even if you were driving a car owned by a driving school instead of a family car.

Learn more about the steps to take after an accident.