Teen Drivers: Beyond Driver’s Ed
Turning sixteen is a monumental milestone in a teenager’s life. It is a time of increased responsibility, more freedom and increased socialization. Driving is a big responsibility and there is more to operating a car than what is taught in Driver’s Ed.
Every time I have passed someone on the interstate with a flat tire, I always got a quick reminder that I didn’t know how to change a tire. I was quickly reminded of my lack of knowledge when I was traveling with a friend in the middle of the night. It started with the Tire Pressure Light appearing on the dashboard. It continued when there was a loud pop and I could no longer accelerate and it ended with getting my tire repaired. Between my knowledge and my friend’s knowledge, we remained calm and handled the situation smoothly and efficiently. While I was sitting on the side of the road in my disabled car,I found myself thinking about teen drivers and how they would handle a flat tire or any kind of car trouble. Parents, it is your responsibility to make sure your teen is adequately prepared should their car break down. Here are some tips to consider when your car breaks down on the interstate.
- Pull over to the
right side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. Due to the high rate of speed of other drivers, it is safest to remain in your car.
- Call 911 and tell them your situation. Most likely, you will be transferred to the state police. It is essential to know what direction you are traveling and always pay attention to mile markers. The operator will ask for this information.
- Wait for police to arrive before you exit your car. The police will be able to park behind you and slow traffic down
- Call roadside service or a tow truck, depending on the issue. It is a good idea to keep the phone numbers to roadside service and member number in a convenient location. It is also important to know the make, model and year
of your car, as well as if it is a two door or four door.
- Be cautious of strangers, especially if you are alone. It is safest remain in your car with the doors locked and the windows rolled up while you wait for police and roadside service.
The more prepared your teenagers are when driving, the more confidence they will have in their driving abilities and you can have a peace of mind knowing your teen knows how to handle the situation. If you need assistance talking with your teen about responsibility, call me to schedule an parenting consultation.