Teens & Summer Driving

As the school year ends, young people across Wisconsin are looking forward to the summer.  But as teens prepare for vacations and road trips, it's important to keep safety in mind.

Picking the right car is the first step to ensuring a teens safety on the road. It is important to remember that SUVs and trucks react differently than a sedan or coupe in Wisconsin’s inconsistent weather. Consider the teens comfort before putting them in a truck or SUV. A teen driver may lack the skills to cope with evasive maneuvers in a big truck. Safer vehicles are ones that sit close to the ground, to minimize the roll over risk, and something that isn’t overly powerful.

Educating teens on car maintenance will help them establish good habits for later in life as well as make sure they know the warning signs if something goes wrong with the vehicle. Make sure to talk to them about the importance of checking the tire pressures and fluids at least once a month. With rising gas prices, it is important for them to understand that they will get better mileage with properly inflated tires and of course fully inflated tires are safer. Even if just one tire has low pressure, it can dramatically change the way a car handles. Also, parents should make sure that their teen drivers check all fluids and change the oil per the manufacturer’s requirements. Here at Heiser, we have online scheduling and certified technicians& advisors. Have them schedule an appointment for maintenance on Heiser.com. Then have them bring the vehicle in, and we will be happy to answer any detailed questions they may have.

This seems like an obvious tip, however one in every seven drivers still do not wear their seatbelts.  According to the Center for Disease Control, “...automotive accidents are the number one cause of death in the U.S. among people aged 5 to 34.” Furthermore, the Center for Disease Center says that drivers who buckle their seat belts cut their chances in half of being seriously injured or killed in a crash.

According to Distraction.Gov, “cell phone use was reported in 18% of distracted-related fatalities in America.” Remind them that they can also get ticketed for using their phone while driving. As stated by HandsFreeinfo.com, “Text messaging is outlawed for all drivers. Fines range from $20 to $400 with a possible 4 points against the driver’s license.” Parents should discuss all the ways drivers can be distracted with their teens to help keep them safe on the road.

Cruise control can work well on long trips and may even limit driver fatigue. However, teen drivers who may be more likely to stay out late should limit the use of cruise control at night. The lack of engagement might lead to a slightly drowsy driver falling asleep more quickly.

Remember: safe driving doesn't take the summer off. From our Heiser family to yours, we hope you all have a safe and fun summer.


Tyra Shortino said…
Very good tips, Marry Anne! Teenagers are fond of adventures, night outs, road trips, and racing – especially racing. Some of these kids, especially those with fast cars, might take someone up or challenge someone for a race. This is especially discouraged because it’s just too dangerous, and sometimes, when their backs are against the wall, these races can become dirty.

Tyra Shortino

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