Transition Your Teen into Driving, Without a Hitch!
There's nothing more exhilarating than being young, free, and behind the wheel. Maybe you remember lazy summer days as a teenager, cruising through town with your friends. As parents, however, the idea of your child controlling a few tons of mechanized metal is terrifying.
A teenager getting a driver's license initiates big changes in every family. For the teenager, driving is a step toward maturity and independence— for parents, it's the first big step toward letting go. Here are a few ways you can make sure the transition goes as safely and smoothly as possible.
- Phase in driving gradually. During the first few months, limit driving in less safe conditions, like driving at night or in bad weather.
- Limit distractions— Don't allow your teenager to drive with other teen passengers in the car until he or she is experienced. Restrict the use of phones and other devices while driving. Be sure to warn of the dangers of texting and driving as this has become an epidemic and is leading to many unnecessary accidents and deaths on the road.
- Make it clear that driving is a privilege, not a right. Even if your teenager has his or her own car, they have to earn the privilege to drive by following your rules.
- Write up a contract that makes your expectations and rules clear, and have both of you sign it. That way, there's no confusion about when he or she has access to the car, and who will be paying expenses like gas, parking tickets, etc.
- Lastly, lead by example. Your child learns by watching your behavior, so wear your seatbelt, obey traffic laws, drive carefully, and pull over if you need to answer your phone.
We hope these tips lead to smooth cruising for your family this summer. As always, we're here to help, so feel free to give us a call or contact us online if you have any questions.
How to Change a Tire in Just a Few Minutes
Knowing how to safely change a tire should be a skill in every driver's repertoire. In general, it's best to just call and have your car towed, but if you get stranded it's good to know what to do.
- Find a level place to stop. Put the transmission in park (or the gear shift in reverse if you have a manual transmission), and set the hand brake.
- Chock a Wheel—Place two chocks (something large, like a rock, tree limb, or anything more than a few inches high) against the tire diagonally opposite from your flat to keep it from rolling.
- Loosen the Lug Nuts—Place the lug wrench on any lug nut with the handle facing left. Push down on the wrench as hard as you can. Only loosen each of them one turn—don't remove any of them yet.
- Jack Up Your Car—Use your owner's manual to find the correct location to place the jack. Expand the jack by hand until it's as tall as it can be and still fit under the car. Insert the jack handle according to the manual's instructions.
- Start Cranking—Lift the car high enough that the flat tire can be replaced with a fully inflated spare. Keep everyone else away from the car while it's on the jack.
- Remove Damaged Tire—Remove the loosened lug nuts, and take the wheel off. Put the wheel off to the side, not in the car while it's jacked up.
- Put on Spare—Line the lugs up with the holes in the wheel and gently slide it on. Screw on the lug nuts and tighten as much as you can. Then, lower the car off the jack until it's firmly on the ground.
- Tighten Lug Nuts—Use the wrench to tighten by putting it on any nut with the handle facing to the right. Repeat on the other nuts, using the full force of your weight on each one.
Once you've completed these steps, you want to double check that the lug nuts are tight, and consult your owner's manual for important details regarding the maximum speed and travel distance for the spare. If at any point during this process you're feeling overwhelmed, grab the nearest cell phone and call for help. Feel free to give us a call or contact us online if you have any questions. We're always happy to help!