Drivers education courses provide our teens with enough knowledge and hands on experience to get their license, but that’s about it.  I realized this as I watched my 16-year-old taking his drivers training test last November.  The very same 16-year-old, who by the way, totaled his first vehicle within 3 months of driving on ice in winter.  Yay! – Insurance Agency owner’s kid totals vehicle.  Yeah – I know – Awesome!

So being an agency that insures a lot of families in Michigan, I thought I would provide a blog with a few helpful tips that all teens and their parents should discuss; you know, during those 10 – 15 minutes per day that their head lifts from the face of their mobile phones.

Importance of Tires

We should teach our children how to check their own tire pressure.  Newer vehicles have censors, but many times we are not purchasing new vehicles for our teens to wreck (see side note above about my son’s totaled vehicle).  Being that we are in Northern Michigan, they should also know how to check the tread, which becomes an issue on slushy, snow covered and icy roads.

Check Fluids

Does your teenager even know where to check for any fluids under the hood?  Personally, my dad once made a trip to town when I was about 17, to just change a windshield wiper for me.  I know – spoiled – but I don’t recall ever complaining back then.  At the very least, we should be showing them where fluids are located and how to check them.  These would include the oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and air conditioning coolant.  They should also be advised even if they take the vehicle for oil changes, to confirm that these items are being checked and refilled.

Emergency Roadside Kit

How many times have you yourself been stuck and realized you just don’t have the tools you need with you.  We get that today phones are super glued to our kid’s hands, but we believe they still need to carry some essential items with them at all times – just in case.  We recommend the vehicle has:

  • First aid kit
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Oil, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid
  • Flashlight with 1 set of extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Battery charging kit
  • Bottled water and non-perishable foods
  • Mini tool kit with wrenches, screwdrivers, and a hammer

We also hope that once they are off on their own, that you are recommending that they remain insured with Cardinal Insurance Group.  We understand they will have tight budgets and we are committed to helping them find affordable but dependable coverage to give them the ultimate protection when on the road!