Winter Driving Safety Tips for TeensAmber Brandt
November 07, 2023
Amber is a StoryBrand certified copywriter and mom. Her goal is to create engaging articles that educate and inspire.
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Many parents feel nervous with their teenagers behind the wheel, especially on unpredictable icy or snowy roads. If you live in a region where winter weather makes driving especially treacherous, here are a few things your kids should understand in order to stay safe:
- Traction. Once you’ve come to a complete stop, it can be difficult for your tires to grip well enough to move again. This can leave you spinning your wheels literally and dig you deeper into the snow if you’ve run into a ditch. Make sure the car’s wheels have good tread and teach your teen how to remove snow from around their wheels and accelerate slowly to gain traction.
- Braking. Give yourself plenty of time to slow down and avoid braking abruptly as it can make you skid or slip. Most people don’t realize just how much ice and snow can reduce your ability to stop. Some reports say you need three to TWELVE times more stopping distance than you do on dry roads. Be sure to keep plenty of distance between you and the car in front of you.
- Visibility. If you’re having difficulty seeing through the elements, so is everyone else. In other words, if you can’t see them, they can’t see you either. Be sure to keep your windows, headlights, brake, and taillights cleaned off before you get in the car. Use windshield wipers often and always run your heater/defroster a few minutes before you start out. If you must pull over to the side of the road for any reason, be sure you put your hazard lights on and place flares or reflectors out if you have them as well.
- Distractions. The best thing you can do while driving is stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Avoid changing the radio, looking at your cellphone, or being distracted by a passenger. The more you pay attention, the quicker your response time will be, which will help you to appropriately slow down and stay in control.
- Maintain your car. Be sure to check your battery, tread, wipers, and washer fluid.
- Keep helpful items on hand. Pack a small emergency kit for the trunk that includes a flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, shovel, ice scraper, and abrasive material like sand or kitty litter that could help with traction if your wheels get stuck. Flares are also a good idea.
- Give yourself plenty of time. The worst thing you can you do is rush when driving conditions are harsh. Be sure to plan ahead and leave with time to spare, so you can arrive at your destination on time and without feeling rushed.