As our son approaches 16, he is excitedly thinking about independence and I am busy worrying about his safety. The ability to drive himself back and forth to school is certainly an awesome benefit to this new life skill, but it requires some preparation and teaching on our part. Here are the tips that we’re teaching our beginning driver to prepare him to drive safely.
6 tips for beginning drivers: Your safe journey starts here.
1. No cell phones Number one on our list is not using the cell phone in the car. This is a rule that our parents didn’t have to worry about, but now that we’re parenting in the digital age it’s a must.
2. Perform weekly safe vehicle checks My parents taught me how to do weekly vehicle checks and I think it’s important for Michael to learn the same thing. Checking the tire pressure at home is fairly easily to do. If you need a refresher check out this tire pressure video. Even better, Discount Tire offers free tire inspections!
A safe vehicle check that can be performed every other month is checking tire tread. It’s as simple as using this small card (provided by Discount Tire) to make sure there is a safe amount of tread on all four of your tires.
3. Know how to change tires and jump batteries Knowing how to change a flat tire and use jumper cables on a battery are basic skills anyone operating a car should know. Most of the time a car service can help you out of jam, but there are situations when help is unavailable and you need to be able to do it yourself.
4. Keep cell phone location on No cell phone use in the car means not answering the phone even when I call. However, as long as his cell phone location is turned on, I can be reassured about where he is when he doesn’t answer my call. Some may see this as an invasion of privacy, but when I hear of an accident I want to check to be sure my son isn’t around it.
5. Talk about local weather and traffic issues For Tucson, those weather conditions are monsoon rain and the uncommon snowfall. We are blessed with sunny days almost year round in Arizona so weather isn’t a common concern. However, we do get our fair share of monsoon rain in the summer and occasional snowfall every few years. Both situations require special driving instructions and it’s important to teach your teen how to deal with various weather situations from the beginning.
6. No friends in the car Do you know how crazy kids can get when hanging out? Imagine that same scenario while one of them is driving. Not allowing friends in the car is really a no-brainer. As a parent, I might word it as no one under 18 unless they are a relative, so they don’t think you are picking on them. :-)
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