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Winter Driving for Teens

Tips for Teens Driving During Winter Conditions

The American Automobile Association (AAA) recently reported that teen drivers are quickly becoming the single most dangerous group of motorists on the road. This danger only increases during winter weather and hazardous road conditions. According to Timothy Smith, author of "Crashproof Your Kids: Make Your Teen a Safer, Smarter Driver," parents can help reduce this danger by properly preparing their teens for winter driving conditions."Teenagers need good car handling skills and safe attitudes," Smith said. "Only parents can provide the time and restrictions necessary for them to become safer, smarter drivers."

When snowy, hazardous conditions set in, Smith recommends parents instruct their teen drivers on safety winter driving practices. According to the author, many young drivers feel overconfident with four-wheel drive vehicles, driving unsafe speeds. Additionally, if the vehicle does start to slide, most beginning drivers will hit their brakes and oversteer, causing skids to worsen.

"Four wheel drive does little to help you stop more effectively in slippery conditions at normal driving speeds," he said.

Smith recommends drivers immediately lay off the gas and brakes during a skid. By turning the steering wheel in slowly in the same direction, drivers can regain control of their vehicle.

According to the author, parents need to also warn their young drivers about checking tire traction before entering traffic, even at low speeds.
"Sometimes snow can have reasonable traction, or a seemingly dry road can be treacherous," Smith said.

Parents can help prepare their young drivers for winter driving conditions with these basic safety tips.

Winter Driving Tips

Reduce speed. Don't be pressured by cars behind you to drive faster than you feel comfortable with. Always leave a few minutes early for your destinations to avoid being late due to winter roadways.
Increase following distance. Add another second or more to the normal three-second following distance. Keeping a safe distance between you and the car in front of you ensures you can stop fast enough, even on icy roads.
Brake more carefully. Give yourself more braking room, and remember not to pump anti-lock brakes. Providing constant pressure to your brakes gives you better braking and steering control.
Beware of ice patches. Know where ice forms most readily such as bridges, overpasses, shady spots and intersections.
In snow, drive in the ruts. The traction is better when you drive in ruts, or tire tracks. Also, make sure you change lanes slowly and smoothly.
Stay home! Postpone or avoid all but the most essential travel.

Parents can read more about the Crashproof Plan outlining behind-the-wheel exercises and strategies to reduce the risks of driver error, speeding, drugs and alcohol, distractions and road rage.

Source — Crashproof Your Kids