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Remind Teens about hazardous weather conditions while driving

August is coming to an end. This means that fall will be here soon. As a Missourian, you know this means the weather will change. Midwestern weather often changes quickly and unexpectedly. You know that one day can feel like summer, the next like fall and then it can jump back to sunny and warm. You also know that wind, rain and snow will soon become a threat.

You know how to drive in varying weather conditions. You have done it before, but you worry about your newly licensed teen driver. You will want to go over the hazards that driving in both the rain and snow produce.

Tell them these tips for driving in the rain:

  • Remind them to drive slowly and not to follow too closely. You will want to remind them that their ability to stop may be affected by the rain. Driving too closely to vehicles can result in water spraying up onto their car. If visibility is bad, you will want to remind them that it is best to turn on their hazard lights and pull safely off of the road.
  • Tell them to be realistic when encountered with standing water. Small puddles are to be expected when it rains. Standing water can be deceiving. If your child is uncertain of the depth of the water, tell them not to drive through it. Remind them that this can cause severe damage to the car and result in them to becoming stranded or swept away.
  • Educate them about hydroplaning. Remind them of how to maneuver if they find themselves hydroplaning. Tell them to be cautions, steer straight and accelerate slowly.

Tell them these tips for driving in the snow:

  • Remind them to drive slow and use brakes with caution. Snow and ice mean that it can be hard to get traction. They do not want to find themselves in a situation where they must stop quickly. Hitting the brakes could mean that the car starts to fishtail and slide. Make sure you remind your child to turn into the skid if this happens to help straighten the vehicle out.
  • Tell them to be realistic about driving up and down hills. Going downhill could make it difficult to stop. You will want to remind them that it’s best not to stop when headed up hill. If they do get stuck, they run the risk of having the tires spin in place. Tell them to use their best judgment when they encounter a hill, and to find a safer alternative route if possible.
  • Educate them about black ice. Remind them that if the road appears slick, then it mostly like is. Remind them that overpasses and bridges are likely to have black ice due to the wind blowing beneath them.

In both instances, you will want your teen to check their tires. Balding tires can add to the hazardous conditions. You may remind them that it is important to use their headlights to create visibility. You will also want to make sure that they have a safety-kit in their vehicle at all times. Talk to them about how to handle an accident. In the event of an accident, make sure you seek legal help. Injuries from weather related accidents can be devastating. These tips can help your teens better prepare themselves.

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