Ensure Teen Driver Safety By Following These Winter Maintenance Tips

Posted on November 5, 2012

Teenagers who have recently crawled behind the wheel of an automobile are inexperienced with driving compared to a large swath of the population.  This inexperience, while certainly not helpful during the summer, can become absolutely detrimental during the winter months.  Not only are hazards presented by snow, sleet, and other storm conditions, but the wear and tear that can affect a vehicle also hold their own dangers.  A new article discusses how parents and teenagers can take pains to ensure that a vehicle is safe enough to be driven in winter weather.

Your teen is probably too focused on actually driving the car to have pulled out the owner’s manual and carefully studied it in detail.  However, that manual offers valuable information in terms of proper driving instructions and when to conduct maintenance.  If you’re not sure of how often a particular component needs to get serviced or checked, the manual will enlighten you.  And although a common myth holds that oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles, that simply is not the case with newer vehicles.  Consult the manual to learn how often to change oil, filters, brakes, tires, and more.

Tires are components that absolutely must be up to the task of carrying teens to their destination in the winter months.  If your teenager’s tires are not inflated properly or they are otherwise worn down, then driving ability might be compromised, especially at such times that slush or snow imperils safe travel.  Instruct your teen that he or she needs to check their tires often for damage and proper pressure.

Teens, in a bid to save some money, might be inclined to not acknowledge when a warning light goes off on the dashboard.  The thing is, these lights go on for a reason.  They signify that a potential safety issue has been presented, and continuing to drive for a long period of time when a light comes on could lead to a serious accident, something that’s particularly grave in the winter.  Get serviced right away, and if the check engine light is flashing instead of just coming on and staying on, then cease driving as soon as possible and get service done at once.  A flashing check engine light typically signifies a serious issue.

Many teens, since they are driving a vehicle that’s typically an addition to a family’s stock, will park outside.  As such, snow can accumulate on the windshield.  If the wiper blades aren’t up to the task of cleaning this snow off, it could pose a hazard.  Wiper blades need to be in working order for those times that a teen gets stuck in a storm, otherwise visibility will be compromised and lives will be in danger.  Replace damaged wiper blades and always keep fluid levels high.

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