Driver education classes, "practice" driving hours and memorizing road rules are all important parts of learning to drive -- but there are things only seasoned drivers know (like how you just know that guy in front of you is going to stop suddenly and turn, despite his turn signal not being on).

A lot of driving is just getting experience, but you can do your best to set your teen up for success!

Before you kid hits the road this spring, be sure you’ve shared the following 3 items:

1. How to check tire pressure

It may sound like a minor detail, but tires that are low on air can cause lots of accidents. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tires that are underinflated by more than 25 percent are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires properly inflated. Even tires slightly under inflated can cause problems. The tires may become overheated, have a shorter tread life and not handle as smoothly.

Show your teen how to use a tire gauge and practice using the air pump at your local gas station.

2. Don’t text and drive - ever

Teens today are inundated with distractions — cell phones being at the top of the list. There are countless studies touting the danger of texting while driving, so be sure your teen knows to keep the phone out of sight in the car.

If they need directions, load those before leaving the house, and set up the voice option so they won’t be glancing away from the road.

3. Accident protocol

In the event of an accident, it’s important to know what to do:
  1. Call the police to report the accident and any injuries. The police may send out an officer, or direct your teen to the station to file a report. Be sure to have your teen ask for a copy of the report (for insurance purposes!)
  2. Exchange information and take notes. Share insurance, contact and vehicle information with any other drivers. And then put those smartphones to use for snapping pictures, taking down accident details, and entering the names and numbers of any witnesses.
  3. Call your insurance agent ASAP. Your agent will ask a few questions, explain what your policy covers and what deductible you'll have to pay. Then, typically, you'll have to fill out a claims form.
Feeling prepared will empower your teen as she crosses this major milestone!

(As your 16 year old hits the road, also consider installing a plug-in diagnostic kit to help encourage them to make safe decisions behind the wheel.)

Source: Trusted Choice, Teens and Tire Safety | Trusted Choice, Surprising New Study About Teens and Texting
Photo credit: State Farm, Teenage Driver.
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