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15 Things Your Young Driver Should Know

If there is a young driver in your family you know things have changed. Worry and stress levels are up as probably are your car insurance rates. There are ground rules that should be set and responsibilities to be shared. While much discussion will be based on safety and finances, it is worthwhile to make sure young drivers are prepared in other ways that may help them throughout their driving careers.

  1. How to check the oil.At the very minimum, a young driver should know how to check and add oil when needed. It’s also a good time to discuss the importance of clean oil in keeping an engine running smoothly.
  2. Checking air pressure and keeping tires properly inflated. This can improve gas mileage, braking ability, driving performance and tire wear.
  3. Changing a tire. Tires are so reliable and so many people have roadside assistance it may never be necessary. It still can be important to know.
  4. How to tell which side of the car the gas tank is filled. The gas gauge on the dashboard has an arrow indicating which side of the car your gas tank can be accessed.
  5. Interstate Route Numbers Indicate Direction. Every driver should know even-numbered interstates are east and west directionally and odd-numbered interstates travel north and south.
  6. How to read a map. Knowing some map basics and keeping a map in the glove compartment can be invaluable when a cellphone or GPS isn’t available.
  7. How their driving impacts car insurance rates. Young drivers should fully understand that young driver auto insurance is expensive, and they have a role to play in keeping rates from going up through safe driving.
  8. How to react in a traffic stop.A moving violation can be costly in more ways than one. Young drivers should know how to behave when being stopped by police on the roadway.
  9. Everyone in the car should wear safety belts.This should be non-negotiable and young drivers should understand this.
  10. The dangers of distracted driving. Cellphones and texting are a major cause of accidents, especially for younger drivers. It can wait.
  11. Double-check that they have the keys. Most parents can recall at least one time when they had to go unlock their kid’s keys from a car.
  12. The proper way to pull off the road in an emergency. Young drivers should know to pull off to the right of the road and turn on emergency flashers in an emergency.
  13. The seriousness of driving while impaired and open containers. Many states have high impact fines and punishments for young drivers when it comes to open container and DUI’s.
  14. If you follow trucks too closely, they may not be able to see you. Young drivers may not appreciate that when following a semi too closely they may be invisible. This can be dangerous for both drivers.
  15. If a car is steaming, smoking or if it smells like burning plastic or rubber, stop driving ASAP. These can be indications of potentially severe engine damage. Stop and get assistance.

As experienced drivers, we can take much of these for granted. A new driver, however, can either learn these through experience or learn proactively. The choice is yours.

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