Winter is upon us and it comes with some of the most challenging driving conditions. Snow, slush, and ice decrease visibility and stopping time for drivers, and increase the chances of an accident.
These factors remind us why it’s important to talk to your teens and prepare them for winter travel. Here are some safety tips to ensure your teen drivers are ready for wintertime expeditions:
Install winter tires
Did you know that if you can see your breath, you should consider installing winter tires on your vehicle? This is especially true if you live in an area that sees harsh winter conditions, such as high snowfall and black ice.
Winter tires provide levels of traction that all-season and summer tires can’t in winter conditions. While all-wheel drive can help, it only provides forward momentum in snow and doesn’t aid in stopping or steering the vehicle.
Get a tune-up and check air pressure
Before any long road trips, visit your mechanic for a tune-up and other routine maintenance for your vehicle. Have it checked for any leaks, bad parts, and needed repairs and replacements.
Also be sure that your tires are properly inflated. You can find the recommended pressure on your vehicle’s tire placard (usually located on the driver’s door) or in your owner’s manual.
Check your spare tire
Be sure to check your spare tire, if your car is equipped with one. Having a fully functioning spare is always important, but never more so than during hazardous winter months. When you inspect your spare, you should check its tread depth, air pressure, and age.
Keep your distance
Vehicles do not react as quickly in the snow, so be sure to drive slowly and keep a larger following distance between you and other vehicles. This allows for more response time and helps you make more controlled stops and starts.
The Number 1 way to stay safe is to stay off the roads. Even with the best preparation, you cannot account for all possibilities. If it’s not necessary for you to go out, it’s best to avoid driving until road conditions improve.
Winter driving is inevitable but winter safety is a choice. Make sure your teens follow these tips to ensure they are prepared for safe driving when the time comes.