By Mark Simmonds |
These tips could help your new driver save time, money and — most importantly — stay safe on the streets. Here are some of the top car skills all parents should teach their young drivers before they hit the road.
1. Fixing a flat tire. A flat is never fun, but they always seem to happen at the least opportune times. Follow these detailed stepsand make sure your teen is competent at changing a tire at home (under your supervision) before hitting the roadways. It’s also reassuring to know that emergency roadside assistance on your auto insurance policy is just a click or call away. Speak with an agent at your insurer to ensure you carry this important protection.
2. Driving in hazardous weather conditions. No matter what Mother Nature decides to unleash, having confidence behind the wheel is key to your child’s safety. From blizzards to fog and ice to rain, the roads can be dangerous for all drivers, let alone newly licensed ones. More than 5.7 million vehicle crashes occur each year on average, and approximately 22 percent of them are weather-related. Knowing how to handle different road conditions will help keep your young one safe. So don’t just practice driving during summer vacation – get out there in all kinds of weather so they better understand how rain, snow, fog, and the like can impact their driving.
3. Changing the oil. Car maintenance can be a bit dull, but teaching your teen driver to respect their vehicle can help save big bucks now and in the future. For example, an oil change is a relatively easy — and super important — task to perform. Have your teen start by reviewing these helpful steps. Advise them to check their owner’s manual for their vehicle’s oil maintenance schedule (usually every 5,000 to 7,500 miles).
4. Getting pulled over. When a police car’s flashing lights and sirens start trailing your teen’s vehicle, teach them to stay calm and pull over to a safe spot. They’ll typically need to provide their driver’s license, registration and car insurance. Remind your teen to always be polite and respectful, and follow all of the officer’s orders. If your young driver does end up receiving a ticket, it can be best to refrain from punishing their behavior unless it was dangerous or reckless. Use it as an opportunity to show them how to pay the ticket either online, through mail or in person — and let it be a lesson for them to drive more cautiously.
5. Understanding car insurance. Car insurance can be confusing at any age. Go through your policy documents or speak with a licensed agent on the phone to get a rundown on basics like required and optional coverages, limits, and deductibles, then translate it into understandable language for your teen. Bonus tip: Score some points by ordering pizza and talking insurance — a win-win for everyone involved!
Mark Simmonds brings 20 years of insurance industry experience to his role as managing director and chief product officer at Esurance. As the father of two teenage daughters, he believes strongly in the importance of instilling safe driving habits in young drivers.
Source: Omaha World-Herald