With summer approaching, many teens and families are planning to go on a road trip. Maybe your son or daughter wants to go visit colleges or take off for an overnight camping trip. It’s important to teach them how to prepare their vehicle to stay safe while on the highways. Here’s a basic road trip checklist you can go over with your teen.
Basic Engine Maintenance
Just as people need to go to the doctor, a vehicle needs basic engine maintenance. Vehicle maintenance requirements vary by make so it’s important to talk to your teen about when their car is due for an oil change and other basic maintenance. Consider how many miles the car will travel for the road trip and bring it in before hand if needed to get your fluids checked to ensure there aren’t any issues on the trip.
Check The Tires
The wheels are the part of the vehicle that need the most attention. They are actually interacting with the road and engaging with the difficult terrain. If they do not have enough air pressure, unusual wear and tear to the sidewalls could cause a blowout. Prior to leaving, check the tire pressure with your teen and top it off if it’s under the recommended amount. Plus, it’s possible to improve gas mileage by up to 3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure.
Prepare Your Route
Before leaving, talk to your teen about the route. There may be several several options in the GPS and by pulling up a map ahead of time you can plan stops along the way. It will also give them more confidence behind the wheel when they have general knowledge about which way they’re headed.
Check Wiper Blades
While often overlooked, the wiper blades are quite important. If their windshield wipers are worn and old it could cause the water to smear and will inhibit the driver’s sight of vision while traveling at high speeds on the interstate. Teach them how to check the wiper blades and replace if needed to ensure that they are in working order.
As a parent you’re used to doing the packing but now, it’s their turn. Explain to them that it’s a good idea to bring a few extra resources, such as a first aid kit, a flashlight, a cell phone charger, tools, snack and water. These basic resources could make a big difference on the road and if they get stranded somewhere.
Brainstorm with your teen about other types of road trip preparation that may be useful. Teach these things to your teen driver by having them help you prepare for family road trips. Lead by example, they will not forget!