It is always difficult to be a young driver on the road. A teenager's first time driving on the wet winter roads can be even more frightening. This is why a young motorist needs a responsible parent who will prepare them for driving during the winter months by preparing the vehicle with the young driver's assistance.
Your teenager is out on the road. It was a challenge to teach them how to drive. It was even harder on your wallet to find out how much their insurance was going to cost. Any driver under the age of 25 is considered a young driver by the insurance industry. Thus the cost for these "inexperienced" drivers is increased. Do not prove the insurance industry correct by allowing the young driver in your household to drive in winter conditions without the vehicle being ready for that environment.
A young driver enjoys a sense of independence when they get behind the wheel. They also need to remember they are responsible for that heavy vehicle which in bad conditions they could lose control of and hurt themselves or others. That is why it is important to prepare your young motorist for any type of driving condition. The most treacherous is usually wet winter weather so the car needs to be checked out and ready for the harsh conditions.
The young driver needs to feel and be confident in winter driving conditions. The best way in which to give them this confidence is to make sure the vehicle is properly maintained and is ready for driving in winter weather. Get out your winter maintenance vehicle check list and go through it with the teenage or young driver in your household.
Maintenance items to check out as the season changes to winter should include the belts, hoses, battery, all fluids and tires. Any little item that might be amiss with the automobile is likely to be magnified in winter driving conditions. If you find anything wrong get it fixed before the winter weather fully sets in.
The belts and hoses should be checked thoroughly for any cracks, holes or any other signs of wear and tear. The change of temperature from the summer heat to the winter chill might cause some issues that need to be tended to with these plastic or rubber pieces.
The battery should be checked out to make sure it is not weaken and that the water cells are filled properly. A weak battery is not fun in the winter time. You do not want to be stuck on the side of the road in the cold of night with a dead battery.
Next you and your youth should check that the fluids of the car to make certain they are properly filled. This includes your oil, transmission fluid, engine coolant and windshield washer fluid.
The oil you should be checking and changing regularly but do it again this time with your young driver present. The same holds true for the vehicle's transmission fluid. It is always nice as winter time arises to go ahead and check theses again, with your young driver at your side and if either needs to be changed take them along so they can see this done as well.
The engine coolant is an important fluid to be filled in the winter season. A teenager might mistakenly believe the coolant is only needed in the hot summer season. They would be incorrect. The correct mixture of antifreeze and water is needed when it is cold out to avoid the engine from freezing up in the low temperatures.
Windshield washer fluid is needed to properly de-ice and clean your windows as it gets chilly outside. You might need to add a de-icing additive to your normal washer mixture to make the fluid work more efficiently in cooler temperatures. Make certain the windshield wiper blade is also ready for working in the cold weather. If your region has cold weather that causes ice on the windows you might want to switch your standard blades out for a special winter wiper blade that is designed to handle snow and ice.
Tires are most important for driving in slippery winter conditions. Tires need to be inflated to the proper tire pressure as recommended by the car manufacturer. Tires that are under-inflated or over-inflated could cause the driver to have problems on the wet, slick roads that are common during the winter months.
Depending on where you live you might need to change to winter or snow tires. These are supposed to get better grip in the snowy or icy conditions of wintertime. In certain areas of the nation you will be recommended to put on chains for particular driving conditions. Make sure that you teach your young driver why and how this is done so they understand.
Once you and the teen or young driver have given the vehicle a comprehensive inspection ensure the inside of the automobile is equipped with the proper winter necessities.The winter necessities will include normal items such as a toolbox in the trunk, a spare tire and perhaps a pair of overalls. Beyond the standard items there are special items you should carry in the winter time.
Items to have in your trunk include: tire chains incase they are needed to be put on at any time. Next would be an ice scrapper for the windows. Make sure to properly teach the teenager that the whole windshield and all surrounding windows on the car should be scrapped off so that they are able to see out of any window at any time. Also scrape the outside mirrors so they can be of use when driving.
The young driver should also be told to wipe off as much snow that sets on the car as possible. The roof and hood should be wiped off if nothing else is. The roof is especially important so that when driving the snow does not fall forward onto the windshield and block the driver's view. It is very difficult to see through snow on the front window. Snow and ice should also be removed from the mirrors, lights and license plate so that all can be seen by other motorists.
Other items to have in the vehicle would be a blanket, flashlight and emergency flares to place in the roadway. These are helpful items if the car breaks down in the snow. With the heat not working and if the vehicle will not be repaired or towed soon a blanket will help the occupants keep warm during their wait.
The young driver should be told if the car breaks down in bad winter conditions to try and call for help and then stay in the car. Tell the teenager to not leave the auto if possible. Instead the driver and passengers should stay in the vehicle and try to keep warm. This is much better then going out into the snow and getting hurt or falling ill from the chill and cold.
When the winter months are on the horizon it is time to get your vehicle and young driver ready for the changing weather conditions. Have your teenager help you prepare the car by checking it over and dealing with any issues you find. Show them how to properly scrape off ice or snow from the vehicle once the winter weather arrives. Finally make sure that the proper necessities are in the car so that if there is a car problem the young driver will be able to make it through a breakdown.