With motor vehicle crashes being the leading cause of death among 15-to-20 year-olds and 16 year-olds having higher crash rates than drivers of any other age (NHTSA Study), it is crucial to properly educate new teen drivers on how to stay safe behind the wheel.
On top of that, with drivers education courses getting cut due to lack of funding, parents are now faced with the added pressure of teaching their children to drive. As the summer ends and the school year approaches, the team at Michelin, leading tire company offers the following tips to ensure a safer driving experience for teen drivers:
- Tire pressure: Proper inflation is essential for the performance and longevity of the tire. It’s also essential for the ride quality and safety of your vehicle. Your tires carry the entire weight of your vehicle. They cannot do their job properly when underinflated or overinflated. Operating your tires underinflated can also result in a tire failure. Be sure to check your tire pressure once a month. The tire is the only part of the vehicle touching the ground, which makes it imperative to our safety.
- Minimize Oversteer: When the rear tires lose traction before the front, your vehicle can start to spin. The most common causes are worn tires on the rear, entering a turn too fast or braking too hard in a turn. If you lose rear traction, depress the brake pedal and keep pressure on it until the car comes to a safe stop. To reduce oversteer, make sure the rear tires have the proper air pressure and tread depth, enter turns carefully and keep tires rotated so they wear evenly.
- Minimize Understeer: When the front tires lose traction before the rear, the car will slide straight off the road, instead of spinning. To correct, gently lift off the gas pedal and slow down to regain traction. As with oversteer, maintaining tires with the proper tire pressure and tread depth can help you reduce understeer.
- Situational awareness: Situational awareness is key to safe driving, including being aware of traffic and road conditions and driving at appropriate speeds for the weather conditions. Driving is a skill and requires drivers to pay attention to what is going on around them. It is also important to do monthly vehicle checks.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!