FROM 13 NEWS AT 4 -- Students across the region are gearing up to return to school. Before those newly-licensed drivers and new college students head off, AAA encourages parents to review simple car care tips to help teens stay safe and on-the-go at school.
“Many new drivers aren’t sure how to properly maintain vehicles or handle car problems,” said Jim Hanni, executive vice president of public and government affairs at AAA. “A quick inspection of vehicles and overview of car care basics can help prepare teens on what to do in case of an emergency.”
AAA recommends parents review the following tips with teens:
Stick to recommended maintenance schedules. Standard oil changes and manufacturer-recommended maintenance provide the opportunity for trained mechanics to identify, fix and avoid future costly problems.
Learn D-I-Y basics. Teens should know how to check tire pressure, fluid levels and batteries. Proper tire inflation, refilling engine oil, radiant coolant and windshield washer fluid and checking the battery for loose cables or corrosion can help head-off costly repairs and prevent potential roadside emergencies.
Pay attention to vehicle lights and sounds. Ignoring unusual vehicle sounds or maintenance lights on dashboards can lead to costly repairs. Encourage teen drivers to notify a parent when they expect something may be wrong and have vehicle inspected as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Be prepared in case of an emergency. Provide emergency supplies, including a car care kit with jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, flashlight and hazard signs, water and a charged cell phone for new drivers. Discuss what to do in case of a roadside emergency, such as seek a safe place to wait for help, at a nearby business or as far away from traffic as possible.
Review rules of the road. Curfews may change with school back in session, but rules such as passenger restrictions and prohibiting cell phone use should always stay the same. The start of the school year is the perfect opportunity to review and discuss safe driving behavior.
AAA provides travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services to 51 million members nationwide. AAA is committed to keeping its members on-the-go by providing outstanding roadside assistance, valuable online resources on buying and maintaining vehicles and through the Approved Auto Repair program. For more information about AAA, members and non-members can visit a AAA office, go online to AAA.com or call 800-365-5222.