Whenever your teenager leaves home to go driving somewhere, you may be left feeling anxious and uneasy, feelings that will increase when the weather is bad. Use the five tips below to teach them how to drive in bad weather and experience some peace of mind whenever they’re out on the road.
1. Remind Them to Drive Slow
Driving at the speed limit is okay in good weather, but in harsh weather, remind your teens that they need to drive even slower. Driving fast will make it harder for them to control their car and can leave them at a higher risk of getting into an accident. Visibility is also impaired for everyone on the road, so there’s no good reason whatsoever for anyone to be in a hurry. Make sure that your teen understands this and they will be safer behind the wheel.
2. Tell Them to Pay Extra Attention at Intersections
Even if the lights say to go, let your teen driver know that intersections are particularly risky in harsh weather. As mentioned, visibility is minimized for every driver currently on the road. Your teenagers should remember this and also consider the fact that other drivers may be distracted, or they may have lost control of their car altogether. This makes it important for your teen to exercise caution when driving through intersections, and pay extra attention.
3. Take Them on a Controlled Ride in Harsh Weather
Experience is the best teacher, so, whenever you’re able, take your teen on a drive when the weather is not so friendly. It’s crucial to remember that they will be learning by watching you, so put your best foot forward. Keep calm and maintain control of your car, braking and accelerating slowly but surely. When they see how it’s done, they will likely have an easier time putting it to practice when it’s their turn behind the wheel. Since weather is a factor in around 21% of all auto crashes in the United States, it’s important to make sure your teen knows exactly what to do and how to do it.
4. Practice in an Empty Parking Lot
Put your teen in control in an empty parking lot in a spell of bad weather. Doing this will enable you to identify any potential issues they have and correct them. They will also get a feel of what they will be up against, but in a situation in which they don’t risk causing an accident or damaging property. Take them a few times until you’re confident that they can control the car well and will remember the instructions you give them, and you will have given them an important driving course that they won’t be likely to forget.
5. Let Them Know When to Stay Home
Finally, even after teaching them how to drive safely in harsh weather, you need to let them know when to make the call to simply stay home and off the roads. Have them listen to the weather forecast, and if there’s a storm in store, tell them to call off the drive. It’s impossible to know how severe the weather will get if it’s predicted to worsen, and things change in an instant, something that can leave an inexperienced teen in danger while they’re out on their own. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that roughly 5.9 million commercial vehicle drivers in America are currently on the road, and this puts many people on the roads at any given time. It’s therefore important for your teens to understand that sometimes it’s best to be safe by not getting on the road in the first place.
These tips should help you teach your teens how to drive in bad weather and give you more confidence in their safety.