Learning to drive is an exciting opportunity. During the summer months, it is pretty easy to get the hang of how to manage the vehicle. However, when winter hits, things change. Wet conditions, including rain, snow, and ice, make it more challenging to operate that car. You do not want your teen to have to file an auto insurance claim. To avoid this, consider a few helpful tips for reducing these risks. Here is where you can start.
Talk About Increased Risks
Many teens are fearless. They have no experience with an accident and do not fully understand the risks.
Your first step, then, is to explain to them why winter conditions are different. Even large vehicles can slip. Getting stuck in a ditch is not uncommon either. By explaining what can happen, your teen driver recognizes that there is a real reason to slow down.
Speed Is Always Important
In the winter months, speed is one of the biggest causes of an accident (behind distracted driving). Teach your teen that:
- You need to drive at or below the speed limit if the roads are wet.
- You need to drive very slowly or pull off the road if you cannot see well in front of you.
- You need to put more distance between you and the driver in front of you, giving you more time to stop.
Talk about what makes conditions simply too bad to drive in. Explain how they can get help from you if they are do not feel comfortable driving. Encourage them to call you.
Learn to Control the Car
The next step is to teach your teen how to handle bad conditions if they occur. This may not be as difficult as they think. Here are a few tips.
- Avoid slamming the brakes. This often causes skids and can cause the car to end up in the ditch. To avoid this, press the brakes slowly, with more time to stop.
- If the car slides, do not jerk the wheel in the opposite direction. Instead, allow it to slide or steer into it. Apply the brakes slowly to straight out.
- If the car is stuck in snow with the tires turning, call for help. It is possible to move the car back and forth to help with getting out. Do not just step on the gas and hope for the best.
Car insurance is there to help if there is an accident. However, teens need a bit more experience and hands-on driving during their first winter experience. Be sure to provide this to your teen.