If you’re parenting a teen, they most likely can’t wait to get their driver’s license. To fill in the time before they get it in a constructive way, prepare them for owning a car so they have an idea of what to expect. The following tips will help you do this effectively.
Let Them Know When to Call a Mechanic
While you will show them the basic care and maintenance of their car, it’s important for them to know when they need to call a mechanic. In the United States, the average cost for repairing a car is $305.55, the sum of $103.27 for labor and $202.28 for parts. Let your teenagers know that if they are ever in a situation where they believe they need a professional and they don’t know the next course of action to take, it’s best to find a local mechanic where they are. Alternatively, help them find the contact of a trustworthy mechanic and have them save their number on speed dial.
Show Them How to Check the Brakes
The brakes are a very important part of the car because of the major role they play in bringing the car to a stop when the need arises. For this reason, it’s important to teach your teenager how they can tell when their car needs to have the brakes changed. Experienced drivers will know this easily enough because they have been driving for a long time and know the difference in how good brakes should feel and how they start to feel when they need changing, so impart this knowledge to your teenager before they get their first car.
Teach Them to Check and Change Wiper Blades
Without good visibility of the road, a driver might as well be blindfolded. Since you never know what can happen in the course of a drive, even in good weather, make sure that you show your teenager how to check their wipers and the blades to be sure they’re in good shape. The fact that the most filed insurance claims are for damaged auto glass and windshields, making up about 30% of all claims on auto insurance, should show you just how important a clear windshield is for a driver.
Show Them How to Change a Car Tire
With the right tools and skills, a teenager can successfully change their own tire when they need to. Instruct them about safety first, like telling them to watch out for oncoming traffic and to call for roadside assistance if there is a lot of fast-moving traffic or extreme weather. Tell them to always be sure that their car has a well-inflated spare tire and to have a jack and a hazard. These will help them change a deflated tire and proceed on their journey in good time.
Teach Them Basic Maintenance
For this, your teen needs to read the car’s manual to find the mileage and service needs. This will let them know how many miles to go before servicing the car, and doing so will help them keep the car in optimal functioning condition. With 69 million car breakdowns in America each year, it’s important to help your teen avoid having theirs be one among these by keeping their car in good form. Also, make sure that your teen knows the different items and materials they will need to service their car themselves. These include jumper cables, a jack stand, a tread gauge, a torque wrench, and others.
Encourage careful driving
Accidents are more common among inexperienced drivers. The risk of accidents is higher within the 16-19 age group than any other demographic. As a parent, it’s hugely beneficial to encourage careful driving from the outset to reduce the risk of collisions and situations that could end up in other road users contacting a car crash lawyer. Set a good example, talk to your teen about the rules of the road and common hazards and help them to get as much experience as possible through driving lessons and practicing with you or friends and family members who are willing to help. Talk about the implications of driving too fast or getting distracted by phones and make sure your teen has access to a safe, roadworthy vehicle. Discuss the dangers of drinking and driving and encourage your teen to talk to you if they have questions or concerns.
With these tips, you can play your parenting role to the fullest and set your teenager up for safe driving. Investing in month to month auto insurance is also a good idea, just in case of any accidents! Help them learn what you learned through experience and they will be happy when they have safe drives and don’t run into an issue they cannot get out of.