Moms and dads, buckle your seatbelts- there's a new driver in town, and it just so happens to be your teenage son or daughter. Once your teen gets behind the steering wheel, they'll want to say 'see ya,' and be off on their own. As parents, you'll undoubtedly want to do everything in your power to keep your kids safe while they're out on the open road. Before they head out for a drive, make sure they know these basics on how to handle this newfound freedom and responsibility.
Teach your child how to navigate. It's time to let your kids put their backseat driver skills to the test! Show your new driver how to properly use a GPS device, whether it's a stand-alone like a Garmin or Tom-Tom, or the GPS service on their phone. You can set the departure and arrival locations before getting behind the wheel, so no one has to look at a screen while driving. Allow the navigation feature to speak directions while your child is driving, so all they have to do is listen. It's also important to teach your child how to read a map. It's amazing how many teens cannot navigate their way from point A to point B while using a map. Keep a map (state/local) in the glove compartment, and make sure there is an up to date road atlas in the car, as well.
Teach your teen driver how to change a tire. It's not always an easy job, and let's face it- it's dirty, but someone's got to do it. Your child needs to know that they might not always be somewhere where they'll be able to call a service number for help, or have an auto club service come to their rescue. Changing a tire is a basic know-how for any driver. Keep the tools for changing a tire in the trunk, and make sure your teen knows how to locate them and how to use them. They may complain about having to learn how to do this at first, but they'll definitely be thanking you if they ever have to put this newfound knowledge to use.
Teach them how to park in all directions. Sadly, many drivers education courses fail to teach kids the ins and outs of parking. Parallel parking is almost overlooked entirely. Your teen will eventually find themselves somewhere that they will need to parallel park. You'll save a lot of tears and time (and headaches from other drivers), by practicing this art of parking with your teen from time to time. It's also important to teach them how to properly and safely back into a parking spot, and how to park straightly inside of a parking space.
Teach them how to care for the car. Once your teen starts driving their own car or your car, they need to help to take care of it. Messes are inevitable when you're using a car. Have your teen help to regularly wash and vacuum the car, as well as keep it cleaned out. Empty the trash bin, remove unused items, etc. This is also a good time to check the car's fluid levels. Everyone who drives the car should take pride in it, and want to keep it looking fresh and clean.
Teach your child what to do if they're in an accident. If your teen driver is involved in a minor accident, make sure they know what to do. They'll still need to call the police to file an accident report, and wait for the police to arrive before they attempt to move their car. Once an officer arrives, they will help to move the vehicles to a safe place as the report is given. They will also need to know where the registration is kept, as well as how to get in touch with you (or another parent/guardian or emergency contact).
Keeping your kids safe on the road starts with talking about it at home. Be involved in your child's life, and help them to understand the serious responsibilities of driving.
Brought to you by Century 3 Chevrolet.