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Car tips & advice | 12.03.2014 - 18:38

Sweet Sixteen: Five Things Your Teen Should Know Before Getting Behind the Wheel

It's important to make sure your teen is ready for the road. Here are five things to discuss before handing over the keys.

If your teenager is 16, he or she probably can't wait to hit the road. Before allowing your son or daughter to get behind the wheel, you should discuss these five things.

1. The Importance of Safe Driving

Many teens think they are excellent drivers, but only time and experience will give your son or daughter the necessary skills to handle various situations on the road. Encourage safe driving, share statistics about teens and accidents and encourage your teen to get plenty of practice before driving alone.

2. How to Handle a Traffic Stop

If your teen has never been stopped by a police officer, he or she might not know how to handle the situation if it ever arises. Make sure that your son or daughter knows to stop in a safe area, roll down the windows and avoid arguing with the officer.

3. How to Handle a Vehicle Malfunction

Even the most pristine of vehicles can act up unexpectedly, so make sure that your teen knows what to do if the car breaks down. Teach your son or daughter how to change a tire, and make sure that he or she has a phone to call for help.

4. How to Deal with Various Weather Conditions

You don't want your teen to panic if he or she gets stuck in a rain or snow storm. If possible, have your teen drive in adverse weather while you're in the passenger seat. Practice spinning out in empty parking lots with plenty of space to learn.

5. The Importance of Not Drinking and Driving

Although you might not want to think about it, understanding the most responsible teens sometimes end up at parties with alcohol. Make sure that your teen knows the statistics and consequences of drinking and driving, and offer to give him or her a ride with no questions asked if it's needed. Also, let your teen know that riding in a car with a driver who is inebriated is equally as dangerous as drinking and driving.

Turning your teenage son or daughter loose behind the wheel can be terrifying, but making sure that he or she knows how to handle situations will help guarantee safety and an overall better driving experience.

Information credited to Colling Insurance Services, Inc, Auto Insurance in Denver, CO

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