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Getting Your Car Ready For Teenage Drivers: 4 Tips To Keep Your Teen Safe On The Road

One of the most frightening days of a parent’s life is when they are asked by their teenage son or daughter: “Can I borrow the car?” According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, the crash rate involving teen drivers is around three times that of drivers 20 years and older. Even more disturbing, teen drivers are involved in fatal accidents more than twice the rate of the rest of Americans.┬áTo help alleviate some fears and lower the risk of your teen being in a car accident, a parent can take a handful of steps to make the car safer.

Correct tire pressure has many benefits

Before letting your son or daughter get behind the wheel of a car, make sure the vehicle has had proper service. Changing the oil is a good start because usually the car will receive a thorough inspection, which includes checking tire pressure, fluid levels and windshield wipers.

Besides improving gas mileage, tire pressure is essential to a safe driving experience. Correct tire pressure will help your teen handle the car better in adverse conditions. Your teen driver also will be able to maneuver more quickly around hazards on the roads when tires are inflated.

Also, make sure the spare tire is inflated properly. Using a spare that is under-inflated is asking for trouble.

Headlights and windshield wipers

Check to make sure your headlights, tail-lights, turn signals and windshield wipers are all working correctly.

More accidents occur early in the morning and at dusk. Encourage your teen driver to use headlights at all times, but especially during the hours when visibility is changing. Driving with a light that is out will diminish visibility making driving conditions difficult.

All the driving lessons and studying about using a turn signal are worthless if your turn-signal bulbs are burned out. They are easy to replace, but if you are unsure, look at the owner’s manual or take your vehicle to a shop that can replace it.

Windshield wipers are often overlooked — until it begins to rain and you turn them on and they leave streaks or just don’t work.

A teen driver already has enough to worry about when driving. The last think you want to fail is the wipers. Replacement blades should be replaced every three to four months, depending on where you live. While seemingly complicated, the refill blades slide right on to the wiper holder.

When checking and replacing the wipers, it is a good time to add windshield wiper fluid to the well under the hood. Keeping a clean windshield will help your teen be able to see clearer and farther ahead, giving them more time to react to potential hazards.

Maintenance

One thing goes wrong and your teen driver might lose concentration resulting in an accident. Before you let them start the ignition, belts, hoses and the battery should be checked thoroughly. When there are drastic swings in temperatures, more problems are likely to crop up with cracks in the hoses and problems with belts.

Checking to make sure the battery is not weak and that the water cells are properly filled along with other preventive maintenance should give you peace of mind. Mike’s Auto Towing is a company that sells used car parts up in Kamloops in Canada and is great example of just how many options there are when it comes to maintenance and saving money and getting your car a safe as possible for your teen.

Roadside emergency kit

Accidents sometime are unavoidable. Make sure your teen driver knows the procedures to follow in the event they are in a crash. Keep important numbers of family members and the insurance company in the glove compartment (in case the numbers are not programmed into a cell phone).

Keeping a roadside emergency kit in the trunk can help your son or daughter signal for help more clearly and hopefully receive help faster. A kit could include flares and triangles to warn other cars, a can of air to re-inflate a low tire and jumper cables and a flashlight.

A small amount of money should be part of the emergency kit as well.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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