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5 Things You Should Teach Your Teenagers as They’re Learning to Drive, or 5 Things Every Driver Should Know

Posted on Posted in Car Ownership

No, this list doesn’t cover things like using turn signals or identifying road signs; it deals with car ownership. The list isn’t long, and I’m sure there are other items that could be added, but I’ve found that many new, and a good deal of older, drivers simply don’t know these five things. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

1. If a young driver goes through a traffic check (some young drivers don’t even know what that is) or has the fortune of being pulled over, he/she will have to produce a driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration. The license is easy enough, and most newbies can locate theirs with little fuss, but you may have to remind them that it’s a physical object and not something stored on a smartphone (yet). What they may not know is the location of the registration and proof of insurance; they also may not know what these two items look like. So, you need to show your new driver the what and where of these two documents.

2. The next thing that new drivers need to know is how to change a flat tire. I realize they can call for help, or may even receive unsolicited help, but preparedness is great for those times when the phone doesn’t work. Teach the newbies now, and even take them out on the driveway and have them practice. If you need a refresher on changing tires yourself, look here.

3. Another incident that may occur is your youngster jumping into a car only to find the battery dead. What now? Another call on the smartphone? Not if you believe in preparing your teenager. Every new driver should be taught how to properly jump start a car, and I emphasize properly. If the connections get crossed, the car’s computer can be fried (expensive); additionally, an incorrectly connected set of jumper cables could cause the battery to explode (dangerous). Neither scenario is advisable. If you’re not sure on how to properly connect jumper cables yourself, read this article.

4. Next, you should teach your teenager how to check the oil level in the vehicle. I know there are warning lights, but if that light isn’t synced to an app, it may go unnoticed. So, for the life of your car’s engine and the life of your wallet, teach him/her how to check oil. If you need a lesson plan, look at this post.

5. Another thing that you should teach young drivers is how to check tire pressure. Once again, most newer vehicles have a tire pressure monitoring system, but let’s work on becoming independent and self-sufficient. Incorrect tire pressures can lead to worn tires and flats, and although your youngster recently learned to change a flat, we don’t want him/her to have to exercise that knowledge if it can be prevented. If you need reminding of the steps, you can view them here.

So, there you have it; 5 things every new, and experienced, driver should know. As I said, there are probably more that could be added to the list, but this is a great start. And if you can think of anything else that should be added, go teach it to your teenager now; no time like the present.

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