When thinking about your car and regular maintenance, may young drivers may overlook their tires and the importance they play in safe driving. Oil changes, maintaining an efficient level of fuel in your tank, windshield wiper fluid: these often come to mind. As a parent, you may also overlook the tires when teaching your teen safe driving tips while they’re learning the ins and outs of driving. Teach your teens about proper inflation and tire pressure.
The tires on the car are imperative; afterall, you can’t drive without them. Like other parts of the vehicle, tires require maintenance and also need to be replaced after wear and tear has exhausted their lifespan. The tread wears down, you may have rocks or other items pierce a tire and the pressure changes.
Tire pressure plays a greater role than teen drivers may realize. Low tire pressure can cause numerous problems on the road – and some may be deadly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advised that drivers may experience sluggish handling and longer stopping distances with underinflated tires. Underinflated tires will also decrease the lifespan of the tire which can lead to blowouts or an all-out separation. A blowout can be scary and dangerous for even the most seasoned driver as the car can pull out of control in traffic or leave a driver stranded until they can change the tire or receive a tow.
Check your tire pressure
You should check your tire pressure at least once a month – more often in the winter and cold temperatures as the cold weather can decrease tire pressure. Many newer vehicles are equipped with sensors that warn drivers when a tire is low – a nice addition to the other perks of newer cars. Regardless of whether or not you have this sensor on your vehicle, invest in a tire pressure gauge that stays in your vehicle at all times. A tire pressure gauge is a specialized tool – and an important one. They cost as little as a couple of dollars at auto parts stores.
Teach your teen how to use a tire pressure gauge on their tires and where to find the proper pressure level in their owner’s manual. Knowing how to use an air compressor may seem like common knowledge, but have your new or soon-to-be driver check and fill the tires on the family vehicle – even if they’re not driving themselves yet. Thankfully, many of today’s air compressors at fuel centers allow you to put in your desired pressure level and give you a warning once you reach that level.
Warn your teen about the dangers of driving with underinflated tires and what may potentially happen. Allowing your teen the knowledge of these issues prior to them driving may mean the difference between a safe drive and a dangerous one.