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Prepare Your Teen For Winter Driving

Winter is approaching fast, and for many young drivers this means their first experience dealing with cold weather road conditions. You probably don't give a lot of thought to winter driving preparations or driving through snow, freezing rain, and ice, but what seems like common sense to you is all new to your teen. So, check out these tips to ensure your teen is prepared for his first winter behind the wheel.

Verify Your Auto Insurance Coverage

Accidents happen more frequently in inclement weather conditions, so it's important to make sure your teen's auto insurance policy provides adequate coverage through a company like The Flechsig Insurance Agency Inc. If you don't already have it, you might consider adding uninsured motorist coverage to the liability portion of your policy for the winter. This way, your teen's car gets repaired if an uninsured driver slides into him. Other coverage limits you should check include:

  • Bodily Injury
  • Property Damage
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision

Make sure that your teen carries limits high enough to cover damage caused to other driver, and consider lowering the deductible for your comprehensive and collision coverage. This way, if your teen is involved in an accident, your out-of-pocket expense is lower.

Hit the Brakes

Before your teen sets out for his first solo winter drive, take some time to teach him how to brake in icy or snowy conditions. According to AAA, the best way to apply the brakes when you're driving in icy conditions is threshold braking—applying firm, steady pressure to the brake pedal. Your teen can practice threshold braking by resting his foot on the floor and pressing the brake with the ball of his foot. He needs to make sure that he's applying consistent, slow pressure to bring the car to a slow stop.

Get Unstuck

Unless you want to drive to your teen's location to dig out the car when he gets stuck, teach him how to get his car out of a snow pile. Make sure he knows not to spin the tires—this could cause damage or overheat the tires. Instead, have him keep a bag of sand or an asphalt shingle in his car. Show him how to place it underneath the tires so that the tires can gain enough traction to pull the car out of the snow.

Prepare an Emergency Survival Kit

Even though you don't want your teen to have any issues driving during the winter, you need to make sure he's prepared in a case a problem arises. Pack an emergency survival kit and put it in the trunk of his car. Include:

  • Flashlight
  • Spare tire
  • Ice scraper
  • Window deicer
  • Flares
  • Blanket
  • Small shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Cell phone car charger

After you prepare the emergency survival kit, take some time to show your teen how to use the jumper cables and flares. Also, if he'll be driving long distances include some nonperishable snacks, water bottles, and extra clothes in his survival kit.

The fact is, you can't force your teen to hibernate through the winter. So, take some time to teach him how to handle the winter weather and make sure he's prepared for the season.