When the weather gets icy and your teen hasn’t driven in the slippery stuff yet, it’s a good idea to get them used to it, before they have to tackle it solo. As you get started, make sure your car is ready to drive in the conditions on hand, which means, at minimum, getting all-season tires and a working heater. Additionally, if you think you or your teen will be driving in the snow a lot, it might be a good idea to have chains and repair tools on hand in the trunk.
A big part of winter weather driving is understanding how a car acts differently in low-traction conditions and how to react when the tires loose traction. Before you teach your teenager how to do that, go over the techniques yourself so you feel confident showing and explaining how to drive in the snow to your young driver. In addition, pick a location or a route. You want your teen to be able to get a feel for controlling a car in the snow in a low-consequence environment. A large empty parking lot, preferably without curbs, parking blocks, or other obstructions is ideal.
Demonstrate proper braking, slowing and swerving techniques. Car accident lawyers in Boise see tons of collisions that happen every year because of inexperienced drivers. Give yours a head start and be sure they feel comfortable behind the wheel in any condition.
Part of a low-consequence environment is that the parent or trusted adult maintains an easy-going atmosphere. Make sure your teen driver is complying with whatever guidelines are appropriate for where you are and what you’re doing, but don’t shout, panic, or criticize harshly. Instead, stay calm, give pointers, and encourage.
Let’s be honest, playing in the snow while driving in the right conditions can be a lot of fun. This is a great opportunity to bond with your teen and show them some cool and useful skills. If you have a good location for it, you could bring some cones and set up a few obstacles to demonstrate increased stopping distances, how to avoid sliding, and how to recover from a slide if one happens. Instead of a scary thing both of you want to avoid, make it a fun afternoon of bonding and learning.
Knowing how to drive in the ice and snow is an incredibly important skill every driver should have. Make sure your teen is prepared before they have to deal with it by themselves, and have a little fun while you’re at it.