Temperatures are dropping, and the chillier weather often brings freezing rain, ice and snow. While you may be a pro at handling icy roads, younger drivers can be caught off guard by the season's challenges. Luckily, Robb Bolio, a 2016 Cruze Engineer, has shared these winter driving tips for teens to help them stay safe this season.
Relearn the basics.
Real-life road conditions can be way different from what your child experienced in driver's ed. Bolio recommends taking your teen driving on wintery back roads to experience different conditions under supervision, so you'll be there to help out in case things get tricky. With his own daughter, "I had her lock up the brakes and accelerate hard on different surfaces like ice, snow and gravel to see how the car behaves," Bolio says.
Take your time.
Sure, racing off to meet friends may seem like a priority, but your teen should know that everything moves more slowly due to winter weather. The car may need extra time to accelerate or brake on slippery roads, snow or rainfall requires slower driving speeds, and it can take a while just to get out of the driveway when windows need de-icing and defrosting.
Understand the ins and outs of winter car care.
Maintaining a car is a little different in winter due to the more extreme weather. You'll want all fluids regularly checked and filled—including motor oil and antifreeze. Bolio suggests investing in window washing fluid that won't freeze to make life easier for your teen. "Trust me, it's worth it!" he says.
Know when to call it quits.
Emphasize to your teen that there are times when you have to play it safe and pull over. Talk about a weather emergency game plan to keep him or her prepared in case of conditions that make it unsafe to drive. "The big three things to avoid are freezing rain, black ice and whiteout snowstorms," says Bolio. He recommends keeping the car stocked with essentials like extra blankets, a phone charger and food in case someone gets stuck on the side of the road for several hours.
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