Driving during the winter poses a challenge for even the most experienced driver. For a less experienced, teen driver, the challenges are even greater. As a parent, it's important that you prepare your children for the woes of winter weather to keep them safe while on the road.
Start With The Smartphone
When it comes to safety measures, a good place to begin is with their smartphone. In addition to your number, there are other important telephone numbers your teen driver should have access to. A tow truck service is one. In the event your child gets stuck due to weather, if they already have the number to a service you have approved, they can immediately call for assistance. Otherwise, a countless amount of time will be wasted locating a number and getting approval from you.
Spinning wheels in snowy or icy conditions can make an inexperienced driver feel like they are losing control of the vehicle, which can cause them to immediately panic and put their safety at risk. Make sure you discuss the importance of control. Instruct your teen to always accelerate and brake gently when pulling off or stopping on these types of road conditions. Doing so helps the tires gain traction. Abruptly taking off or stopping doesn't allow the tires to grip and increases the chance of a spin out.
Clean The Vehicle
Particularly during periods of heavy or active snowfall, make sure you instruct your child to clean off as much of the snow from the vehicle as they can before driving. In periods of limited visibility, a car that is covered with snow will be harder to see than one that is at least partially uncovered. If drivers can't see their snow-covered vehicle, there is an increased risk of someone colliding with them. While the entire vehicle doesn't have to be clean, try to get much of the snow off.
Build Practice Hours
If it's not too harsh outside during periods of winter weather, take your driver on the road to gain experience. Begin in a wide open parking lot, gradually progress to your neighborhood and eventually hit the main roads. While in the passenger seat, watch how your child navigates and offer helpful suggestions. Don't let them drive on their own until they have racked up enough practice hours that you are confident in their ability.
The more effort you make to prepare your teen driver for winter driving, the more confident you will be in their ability and their safety.