There are so many things to worry about when your teen is ready to get behind the wheel of a car.
I honestly can’t think of another parenting moment we’ve had that is this scary for me. It’s just so entirely out of my control. And car accidents happen to good kids, responsible kids, kids who don’t drink or text or drive with distractions. No matter how awesome of a job I’ve done at parenting my dudes, I know that they can fall victim to a car accident.
And let’s face it, it’s not like teenage boys are know for being the most attentive, focused, or cautious portion of humanity (I think their higher insurance rates prove that).
I mean, seriously, I am putting this person who can barely be in charge of changing his socks daily, in charge of this huge, and potentially deadly, motor vehicle.
He will have to focus and multitask and not let the fact that a cute girl is in passenger seat distract him all at the same time.
And make quick decisions. I love my son and he is a super awesome nearly 16 year old, but it took him 15 minutes to choose his breakfast this morning –quick decisions are so not his jam.
It takes everything I have not to stand in the window and sob until he gets home.
I’m not ready.
Fortunately, we are just beginning this journey and I am hopeful that by the time he’s car keys in hand we will both be more prepared.
There is just so much to do to get from now to here are the keys, go to town.
One thing that is often overlooked by parents of new and soon to be drivers is the importance of teaching your kids basic car maintenance.
I remember my dad going over how to check the oil and the tire pressure of my car. I recall him even showing me something about how to change a flat, but honestly, little stuck to 17 year old me and new car technology means I can barely find my car’s oil let alone check it.
I am largely clueless on the topic.
At this phase in my life I still tend to panic when the blinky “service engine” light pops up in my car and then rush it to some place that I am pretty sure is going to rob me so they can make it go away.
I will be the first to admit that I know very little about the care and keeping of my car.
That said, I am working on it.
I partnered with Cooper Tires this fall and was able to learn a ton of stuff about the importance of tires to the safety and overall performance of your motor vehicle.
Working with them I came to realize just how important knowing how to care for your car and its tires can truly be, and I want to make sure that I pass some of this knowledge along to my young driver too –it will be so important when he’s on the road alone.
10 Things Cooper Tires Wants You and Your Teen Driver to Know About Tires
Your tires are the only thing between you and the road.
The 4 tires on your vehicle are the only parts to come in contact with and keep you connected to the road
Which means they are super important for the overall safety and functionality of your car.
For safety and good performance, you must properly care for, maintain and inspect your tires.
Using good tires that are inflated properly can save you at the pump.
Under inflated tires have higher rolling resistance which means it takes more from your engine to move your car, causing it to burn more gas.
Proper inflation can also make your tires last longer.
Tires that are under inflated by eight PSI or more can reduce the life of the tire by up to 9,000 miles.
You should know what your tire pressure should be and how to check it.
The proper inflation pressure is clearly stated in your vehicle’s owner’s manual and/or on the vehicle placard found on the driver’s side doorjamb, glove box or fuel door. It is important to have the proper inflation pressure in your tires, as under inflation can lead to tire failure, irregular tread wear, and increased vehicle fuel consumption.
You should know how to check your tire tread too.
Proper tread depth helps tires maintain traction and improves handling. Proper tread depth can also help prevent hydroplaning.
The penny test can help with that.
Inserting a U.S. penny into the tread, with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, there is at least a minimum acceptable amount of tread. If the top of his head is visible at any point, it is time to replace the tire.
Tire rotation is important too.
The front and rear axles and right and left sides of your car wear differently, it’s important that you rotate your tires to ensure they wear evenly and extend their lives. Think of it kinda like flipping your mattress.
Those little caps on the valve stem of your tires are not just for show.
They actually function to keep air in your tires and dirt and junk out.
And, remember, there’s an app for that.
The Tread Wisely app created by Cooper Tire provides drivers with useful tire and vehicle safety features. For tire safety, they walk you through some basic checks to help you check your tire pressure, tread depth, and overall condition of your tires.
Looking for more info about how to choose and care for your tires? Check out Cooper Tire for more info.