Few things are scarier to a parent than realizing that their teen is about to start driving. As frightening as the thought is, it’s also one that should provoke action. If your teen is going to be driving, they need to know how to face future car troubles that will inevitably come eventually. While true knowledge of how to deal with these problems can only be learned through experience, there are steps you can take now to prepare your new teen driver for a worst case scenario.

Learn About the Topic

Education is always a good first step. Take some time to work with your teen to not only understand what can go wrong with a car, but also what steps can be taken to keep those problems from turning into an emergency. For some families, this will mean a series of discussions. For others, it might mean watching videos on Youtube or even reading a book. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll need to start by letting your teen know about the problems they could face. This can include engine problems, flat tires, running out of gas, and various alerts on the dash.

Teach Basic Repair Skills

There are certain emergency repair skills everyone should know. Before your teen gets out on the road, make sure they know how to change a flat, how to replace a headlight bulb, and how to replace a broken windshield wiper. These are just three very basic repairs that take no significant mechanical skill, but they can help your teen driver get home safely even if they have some minor car troubles while away from home.

Visit an Auto Shop

It’s also a good idea to take your teen with you next time your car needs to go to a shop. Watching you discuss your car problems with your mechanic will not only give your teen some insight into how getting repairs done works, but it will also make going into the shop seem much less scary. As a bonus, this will help your teen to start developing a relationship with the people who may work on their car in the future.

Talk About Roadside Assistance

Finally, talk to your teen about roadside assistance. Explain to them about what kind of plan your family might have, what it would cost to get a tow, and how to contact a towing company to get help. Knowing this information can help keep your teen stop panicking and to get back home quickly and safely even if something does go wrong.

Have your teen keep all important phone numbers, such as your insurance company or the local towing company you prefer, in their car at all times. Keeping these numbers physically written down can come in handy if their phone runs out of battery or becomes damaged.

Car troubles are going to be a part of your teen’s future. If you prepare them for that, they will be better able to handle those troubles when they happen. In this case, being prepared is the best way for your teen driver to stay safe.

By Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing.

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