What a milestone it is in life to learn how to drive for the first time! Do you recall your parents taking me to a local church parking lot (large and empty) and getting behind the wheel for the first time? While it is a joy and a newfound sense of freedom to have a vehicle for the first time, it's also a huge responsibility. Once the driving test is passed (hopefully the first time), it seems all the teen wants and thinks about is "my first car." If you decide the timing is right to purchase a vehicle, it's your job to make sure you are a prepared parent and teacher and your new driver is feeling confident behind the wheel. At Walt's Auto Service, we wanted to put together a small guide to help ease this huge transition!
Double Checking Safety: If you purchase a used or brand new car for your new driver, ensure by bringing the vehicle into Walt’s Auto Service for a Pre-Purchase Inspection that, at the very least, the first car comes standard with electronic stability control, anti-lock braking systems, and traction control. Another great thing to check for is adequate coverage with airbags. One can also access the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website to check for car safety ratings. This Institute evaluates two aspects of safety: "crashworthiness — how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash — and crash avoidance and mitigation — technology that can prevent a crash or lessen its severity."
Take Your Time: Even though teenagers with a new driver's license may be one of the pushiest and most convincing individuals you'll encounter, it's essential to make sure the vehicle will suit them for their lifestyles at this young age. One huge mistake is acting impulsively and jumping on the first car you see. It can be a wonderful bonding time to make a list of potential vehicles you and your new driver are interested in, as well as dealerships in the area. You may even pull memories of when you got your first vehicle or the difficulties that it came with. Please make this a time where your new driver is involved in the process. It will make them value their new vehicle even more. Remember, before you walk into the dealership for a negotiation, it never hurts to prepare and arm yourself with as much information as possible!
Go Driving With Them: This one seems the most basic but essential. Your new driver might not be as confident as they sound or seem in their new vehicle. Take some time to help them go through all the buttons and gadgets in their new car. Perhaps take this time to quiz them on emergency features such as the hazard light function, emergency brake, and other buttons that they might forget about. Avoid assuming your teenager has the common sense and skill of more experienced drivers, and try to explain the ins and outs of even the most basic maneuvers or laws of the road. Remember, they are not invincible - Teenagers are 3x more likely to be in a fatal car crash than older kids, and that reminder never hurts. It's also a great time to have them know the roads closer to home or practice the way to school or the supermarket.
Set The Rules: This paragraph won't cover every rule that needs to be stated but can give a general grasp to remember! It's so important before your kids start driving to decide who your kids can ride with. When first getting a license, there are rules not allowing teens to drive with anyone other than a family member for six months when they first get their license (some states have laws implemented about this specifically). It's your call, but let it be known and let it be clear. Texting and driving should be avoided at all costs, especially since both are illegal in many states. Stress the importance of following laws, such as speed limits and seat belts!
Finally, Every child is different. Some kids are responsible enough to run their own business, while others are barely responsible enough to mind their own business. But when it comes to driving for the first time, you can never be too cautious with your precious cargo behind the wheel.
At Walt's Auto Service, the team hopes you enjoyed this simple guide for your new driver and what to expect! We thank you for taking the time to read through our blog! If you're looking for an honest and dependable Torrance auto repair shop, place your trust in Walt's Auto Service, Inc. We are a family-owned and operated business with an extremely high level of customer service, located at 340 Van Ness Ave., Ste. C, Torrance, CA 90501. We hope to see you soon; call us today, or book an appointment online!
-The Team at Walt's Auto Repair