Feb 5, 2022

How to Keep Your Teen Driver Safe On Winter Roads

If you have a teen who has started driving, you may be worried about their safety, which is natural for all parents. Here are some ways in which you can keep them safe while they're driving on winter roads.

Make Sure Their Vehicle Is Serviced and Maintained

A safe vehicle is one that's regularly maintained, and with around $60 billion of vehicle maintenance costs remaining unperformed each year, this is a large number of drivers taking unnecessary risks with their vehicles. The first way you can help your teen driver stay safe is by keeping their car well maintained at all times and reminding them to take the necessary action any time they sense an issue coming up. When they have a capable car that's functioning optimally, they will be a lot safer behind the wheel.

Teach Them How to Brake Correctly

The roads have a different texture in winter, making them tricky to drive and brake on, even for seasoned drivers. For this reason, take the time to teach your teen how they should brake on winter roads so they don't end up sliding, which can happen when they hit the brakes hard. Take them to a large open area where you can help them practice braking, and after a few tries, they will be better placed to understand the right way to do it in order to stay on the road. Also, inform them that they should keep a good distance behind the car in front of them because it may lose control at any time.

Have Them Park Safely

With just 25% of 900 homeowners in a survey saying that they use their garage to maintain their vehicles according to the Wall Street Journal, there's a chance that you might be one of these people. This is a great way to make use of the garage, but it should not make it impossible to park in it, especially during winter. When the conditions outside are freezing, it's good to park in an enclosed space such as a garage, as this will keep the car and its sensitive elements from freezing over when the weather gets extreme. It's possible to drive it after warming it up, but a teen driver may be tempted to drive away before it's done warming up, and this will invite issues.

Tell Them to Listen to the Weather Forecast

Urge your teens to pay attention to the day's weather forecast so they know if there's a chance of things getting worse. If the weather calls for severe snow and similar events, tell them to consider waiting it out and driving when the conditions normalize again. Missing an appointment or postponing one are both better choices than running the risk of getting caught out in a snow storm. If they urgently have to be somewhere and the weather is forecasted to worsen, have them ask an adult for a ride.

Remind Them to Be Mindful

Finally, whenever you have the opportunity, tell your teen to be mindful of other road users so that everyone stays safe. With the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2017 standing at 5,172 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it's possible to bring these numbers down even more by encouraging drivers to keep other road users in sight and in mind at all times. When every road user leaves enough room for each other, it will be harder to get involved in an accident.

The tips outlined above should make it possible for your teen to stay safe while they drive in the winter. Walk them through the tips and you will have more peace of mind whenever they leave the house to drive somewhere by themselves.

Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn't lost in a book or writing, she's busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.

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