Winter driving can be challenging for people of all ages. Besides the hazardous road conditions caused by rain, snow, and ice, more people are shopping for the holidays and attending parties, and some are driving under the influence. These dangers can be especially hard for newer, younger motorists but these valuable safety tips for teens driving in winter weather can prevent accidents and save lives.
Drivers and car owners who maintain their vehicles are taking important steps to prevent breakdowns and crashes. Whether you own the vehicle or your teen does, ensure the tires have enough tread depth and consider changing to winter tires. The battery, brakes, fluids, and windshield wipers should also be checked for the winter season.
Teen drivers should often be reminded to put their cell phones on Do Not Disturb when driving. Other distractions can be just as dangerous, though. Their focus will be elsewhere if they have friends in the car or are blasting music. Reinforce the importance of eliminating distractions and being vigilant about enforcing rules, like only allowing one friend in the car at a time.
Have an Emergency Plan
Listening to weather and traffic reports when storms are predicted is recommended. It is safer to wait until conditions improve, but that is not always possible, so emergency plans are vital. You should always know where your teen is and let them know they can contact you for help. It is also wise to have an emergency kit in the car, including:
- Bottled water and non-perishable snacks
- Essential tools, like jumper cables, an ice scraper, a snow shovel, and flares
- Extra blankets
- First aid kit
- Phone chargers
Reinforce Defensive Driving Skills
Telling a teen driver to “be careful” can help but specific instructions are generally more effective. These new drivers are more accustomed to driving on dry roads and following posted speed limits. They can be reminded to slow down and increase their following distances when road conditions are slippery.
All drivers need to know how to use brakes safely in poor driving conditions. Instead of slamming on the brakes and skidding, it is better to adjust the speed gently. Teens should also be taught to turn into a skid gently instead of braking, even for vehicles with stability control and anti-lock brakes.
Before they drive alone in harsh winter conditions, teen drivers can benefit from practicing with adult drivers. They can learn slow-speed maneuvers and braking in a wide-open, slippery parking lot during the day. Teens should not drive at night when road conditions are poor.
Be Careful Around the Holidays
Most people look forward to the winter holidays but struggle with increased traffic and agitated drivers. Teens can be advised to expect this and be patient. Avoiding large shopping centers whenever possible, and staying off the roads at night is a good idea.
Our Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm Advocate for Safe Winter Driving
Teen drivers have less experience, but following important safety tips can keep them from getting into serious crashes. Contact our Atlantic City car accident lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm for a free consultation. Call 609-926-3300 or complete our online form. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.