The sun is shining, and the birds are chirping! It is safe to say that summer is here. Many people use the summer months to take a much-needed vacation, which may include your newly licensed teen. Although you may be comfortable with your teen’s driving, there are a few things that you should go over to ensure that your teen is fully prepared for their upcoming adventure. Have no fear; we created a checklist to go through with your teen!
Before heading out on a road trip or any long drive for that matter, your teen needs to understand how to check and top up fluids, check the tire pressure, and change a tire. You can teach your teen how to do all of these things in under an hour. Once they understand how to perform these necessary vehicle maintenance steps, you will know they are more prepared in any driving situation.
Cars.com provides a great video on how to check and top off vehicle fluids. As for checking tire pressure, a quick demonstration of using a tire pressure gauge can show your teen how easy it is. Changing a tire may be daunting at first, but showing your teen a step-by-step YouTube video can help.
Another option your teen may have is many roadside assistance plans cover basic car maintenance as well! Check your teen’s plan to see what is included.
Before your teen takes off on their road trip, ensure that they know where they are going, and how they are getting there. Modern technology makes route planning much easier, as smartphones have a maps app integrated into them. Newer vehicles also have GPS, or an after-market GPS can be used as well. By using these apps, teens will be able to see the route they are taking, and any potential traffic or road blockages that may be ahead. Ensure that your teen understands not to use any navigational device or GPS while driving, routes should be pre-programmed and have voice activation so that they are not looking at a screen while they are driving.
Roadside Emergency Kit
Unexpected emergencies can happen during road trips. In many cases, they are unavoidable, so it is best to ensure that your teen is prepared. Roadside emergency kits can be bought as a package, or they can be put together. The packaged kits can be an excellent basis, but many times require more items to be fully complete. Below we have prepared a list of the essential things that you may want to include in your teen’s kit:
- Jumper cables
- Basic tools (screwdrivers, wrenches, hammer, pliers, knife)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Reflective clothing
- Flashlight and candle
- Work gloves
- Duct tape and zip ties
- Change of clothes
- First-aid kit
Driving for hours upon hours can result in fatigued driving, which can be as dangerous as impaired driving. Fatigued driving increases how long it can take for a driver to react to situations. It is crucial that your teen recognizes the signs of fatigued driving and takes the necessary precautions to avoid it.
Signs of Fatigued Driving
- Frequent yawning
- Heavy eyes
- Inability to stay in the lane
- Loss of focus
- Get a good night’s sleep before a long day of driving
- Take frequent breaks to get out of the car and stretch
- Switch drivers if applicable
- If experiencing signs of fatigue, pull into a rest stop or public parking lot to rest
Ensuring that your teen is well prepared can help ease your mind and encourage confidence in your teen having a safe road trip.
Foster, S. (2017, September 4). iPhone on vehicle holder. [Photo]. Retrieved from https://unsplash.com/photos/cQWXGcHwVrg
Jumper, A. (2017, January 13). Man driving straight on pathway. [Photo]. Retrieved from https://unsplash.com/photos/JgEtmgOjoew