Worried About Your Teen Driver's First Out-Of-State Trip? How Can You Prepare?

Posted on: 17 April 2017

If your teenage driver has plans to drive him or herself out of state for a college visit, concert with friends, or other event, you may find yourself battling worries. Even if your teen drives on a daily basis at home, being in an unfamiliar area (and potentially faster and more aggressive drivers than he or she is used to at home) can bring challenges you may not be sure your teen is ready to face. Fortunately, by taking a few preliminary steps and making plans, your teen should be in great shape for his or her trip. Read on to learn more about preparing your teen driver for his or her first out of state trip.

Making a Plan

Before your teen heads out of state, he or she should carefully map out a route. Even with cellular GPS available on your teen's phone and map applications pre-installed in many vehicles, having an idea of which roads to take before setting out can prevent your teen from becoming distracted or having to consult his or her phone while driving. You'll want to have your teen pack a road atlas, old-fashioned though it may seem, in the event any roads are closed or his or her technological assistive devices stop working.

It's also important for your teen to plan for stops, especially if he or she is driving unaccompanied. If he or she is planning an overnight trip, it's crucial to have an idea of how long he or she can drive at a stretch without needing a break (or to stop for sleep). If possible, having your teen drive with a passenger, even another teenager, can reduce the risk that he or she may become sleepy behind the wheel.

Finally, you'll want your teen to be prepared for some of the basic auto maintenance needs that may strike while on the road. Packing a gas can, tire pressure gauge, tire plug kit, and even an extra container of oil or coolant can allow your teen to refill his or her fluids or perform basic tire repairs without needing to stop for assistance.

Having Backup Options

Although your teen may be able to handle some minor problems like a slight coolant leak or a nail in the tire on his or her own, at least during the daylight hours, it's also crucial to have backup in the form of a subscription to an emergency roadside service. This can give your teen access to emergency vehicle-related services, including towing service, at any time of the day or night, helping him or her avoid a potentially dangerous situation if a tire gives out after dark or in a rough part of town. 

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