I am sure that we all have someone in our family that is a young driver, our own children or grand kids, and we cannot forget our nieces and nephews. It is important that they all know the basics about their vehicle before heading back to school.
Whether they’re driving 500 kilometers to their university or five kilometers down the road to high school, students’ knowledge of proper vehicle maintenance will improve both their car’s safety and their personal safety as they head back to school.
High school and college students, nationwide, understand that being able to drive is important to their personal freedom, making it important for them to develop good car care habits early – habits that will pay off for years to come.
There are some basic items that teens should know about their vehicles before heading back to school. If teens learn this early on, they will be able to take care of themselves if and when a situation comes up. As the parents of these teens it is our responsibility to ensure that they know what to do every time.
With all the technology that is in vehicles today we almost expect that the vehicle will take care of its self, but it is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that it is in good working condition. So I have come up with the “Top 3 Things young drivers need to know”.
1. How to check the tires, and yes I do not mean to go into the settings in the vehicle and pull up the information about the tire inflation.
Teens should be able to go around the vehicle and check the tires by physically looking at them. Is the tread on the tires even or are the tires bald and have wires showing though? Are there any cuts or gouges on the side walls that may cause a problem? And yes, they should know how to take the cap off the valve stem and be able to check the tires with a tire gauge. The most important thing is to not forget to check the spare tire.
This leads me to the next thing that they should know how to do.
2. How to put on the spare tire.
I would almost bet that most teens who are driving on the road today do not know how to change the spare tire. No, I bet that most do not know where the spare tire is along with the tools to jack the car up and change the tire.
Going through the steps with teens on how to change the tire and making them actually do it will be a great benefit to your teens. This will ensure that if they do get a flat on the side of the road, they will not panic about changing the tire.
3. How to check the fluids in their car.
This includes all engine fluids in the engine compartment; engine oil, transmission oil, brake fluid and power steering fluid. Also the water/antifreeze in the radiator is important. When checking any fluids in the vehicle make sure to review the owner’s manual for proper procedures.
The chance that a 16- to 19-year-old will be in a crash, based on miles driven, is four times that of an older driver, according to AAA. By helping your teen to become more familiar with their vehicle could help reduce the risk of that accident.