Preparing Teen Drivers for Winter Road Conditions
Your teen may have overcome their driving jitters in driver training, but Michigan winters can bring new obstacles and new fears. Those new jitters are understandable, as navigating in bad weather makes every aspect of driving more difficult. As a parent, you understand the risks of inclement weather, especially when snow or ice is involved. Sharing that wisdom with your teen can help assuage their fears and ensure their safety on the roads this winter. Here are tips parents can share with new drivers when helping teen drivers navigate snow and ice.
Review the Risks First
Before hitting the roads with your teen, review the risks of winter road conditions. The unique risks associated with snowy or icy roadways, like loss of traction or reduced visibility, are concepts your teen should understand before getting behind the wheel. This ensures they’re not overwhelmed with new information while practicing and mentally prepared for winter roadways.
Tips for Preparing Teen Drivers for Winter Driving
Along with reviewing the risks of winter road conditions, you’ll also want to provide them with some tips for winter driving. Some wisdom to pass along includes:
- Leave extra space when braking to account for sliding on ice
- Turn on fog lights when there is extremely low visibility from snow
- Reduce speed on icy roads, especially when turning
- Stay calm if they skid, and avoid slamming on the breaks
- Gently navigate in the direction the vehicle is skidding in to regain control
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you’ve reviewed the risks of winter driving and shared tips for navigating those risks, your teen is ready to begin practicing. Find a quiet roadway to practice, focusing on an area with low traffic or hazards, and it will enable them to get those jitters out with you there to help. Practicing with your teen can allow them to commit those best practices to muscle memory.
Instead of over-explaining instructions during practice, realize your teen will learn more from trying and failing hands on than from listening to you explain where to move the wheel when. Over time, these skills will become second nature and much more reliable when your teen needs to respond quickly to a situation.
Remember, while it may be a scary experience for both you and your teen, in time, they’ll be navigating winter roadways with the same experience you have! Each session with your teen can emphasize how to navigate winter road conditions and help instill habits that keep them safe on the roads.
Preparing Your Teens Vehicle for Winter Roads
Before handing over the keys for your teen to drive solo this winter, you should also make a point to prepare their vehicle. Swapping out all-season tires for winter tires can help improve traction and help your teen when navigating snowy or icy roads. Check to ensure that the windshield wipers and lights are working at their maximum efficiency. Also, remember to talk through what your teen should do in a road emergency. While you may never want them to experience one, being prepared for every possibility is the best way to keep them safe in any weather.
About Pole Position Auto Body
For over 30 years, Pole Position Auto Body has been helping new drivers, and experienced drivers alike maintain and repair their vehicles. Since safety is our top priority, our skilled technicians are I-Car Gold certified, meaning we follow all safety standards and use the best repair techniques. We’re dedicated to providing top-tier service and the highest quality repairs to keep you safe on the roads.
Call Pole Position Auto Body: 586-775-4825 – Where Excellence is a Habit, Not an Act!