What’s In Your Teen’s Car?
10 Things Every Teen should have in their Car
ITS ALL ABOUT BEING PREPARED
I couldn’t believe it, I was the parent of a teen driver! I was excited for my daughter to get her license, so she could be more independent, and help out, watching her drive away in her car made me proud. I knew she was a good driver and a responsible kid. Of course we talked about distracted driving and how can she have so many Starbucks cups in her car! But I didn’t really prep her for being a driver.
It happened one night while I was out of town, she calls in tears. She was taking her siblings to practice, it was dark, and less than 2 miles from our home Bambi decided to end it all. Everyone was fine, but she was shaken up, and her car was busted up.
I calmed her down and talked her through what to do next. Clear the road, call the police, call insurance, drive the car home, and find that deer for dinner. She didn’t think it was funny. She handled it all like a pro. She’s back on the road again, and we are both wiser.
When this happened, I didn’t have a good plan. I missed teaching her things that would have helped in the moment. I also didn’t have her car set up incase this happened a long way from home. So here is my list of essentials for your teen’s car. I would love to hear some of your ideas too – be sure to post them in on my FB Page.
1. CRASH CHECKLIST
Its my worst fear, but teen drivers need to know what to do. Make up a quick checklist for what to do in a crash. A step by step list of who to call, what information is needed, and what to do will give both of you peace of mind.
AutoShop: You want to go to race car school! Enroll in a defensive driving course so your teen can learn how to handle the car in adverse conditions and emergency situations.
You also get an insurance break for being a safe driver!
2. First aid kit
Even if it’s not a car accident, there will be plenty of times when you need a bandaid, aspirin, or ace bandage. Being prepared and knowing where your supplies are at is super important.
AutoShop: Contact your local fire department or YMCA and sign up for a first-aid, CPR, or responder class together. This is a great opportunity to spend time together.
3. Jumper cables
I know you didn’t leave the lights on, but your battery is dead. Or your friend’s car battery is dead. Either way, if you want to make it home by curfew, you better get that car started!
AutoShop: If you are the resident mechanic get out there Saturday morning and teach your child how to properly use jumper-cables
4. flat tire kit
Who knows when you ran over that nail that flattened your tire. The only thing that matters is you need to get back on the road. Put the Jack, Tire Iron, Tool Kit, and Spare in a place you can get to it.
AutoShop: NASCAR Pit Crew! Rehearse your flat tire drill. Use paint to mark the spot on the car where the jack goes. When you are comfortable, have your mom or dad time you.
5. Change of clothes
Teenagers get into all kinds of messes. Because they live in their car there are likely several changes of clothes. One of those should be a just in-case set of clothes. Keep them in a bag near the emergency kit.
AutoShop: Sounds like a shopping spree to me. Go to goodwill and get a size larger than you think you need, so when your kid grows, these ones will still fit!
6. Stash some cash
It’s a good idea to keep enough cash on hand for one tank of gas. In case your wallet is stolen, keep some cash in a hidden spot in your glove box – then forget about it! When you really need it, you will remember.
AutoShop: Make a motor-budget. With the freedom of driving comes the expense of maintenance. Help your driver plan a calendar of maintenance timelines and expenses.
7. Air freshener
Let’s face it, teenagers stink! Even if you have to sneak it in there, keep a working air freshener in the car. Your passengers will thank you!
AutoShop: Take a Sunday drive. Each of you make a play list, listen to your playlist on the way out to a destination, and listen to theirs on the way back – You will love the conversations that come out of varied musical tastes!
8. Mints, Gum, & a toothBrush
Teen’s lives are busy, from school to practice, to socials – they may not have time to hit the salon, so make a personal care kit for on-the go.
AutoShop: Kind of like brushing your teeth keeps cavities away, changing the oil keeps the engine running. The dealership may be convenient, but being self sufficient is being an adult. Teach them how to change the oil, air filters, and check tire pressure.
9. Phone charger
You are not supposed to be on your phone EVER when driving, but keep a charger handy in case you need 911. Also consider getting a small portable power supply for when your car is dead, you can plug in to recharge.
AutoShop: Sign a non-cell phone contract with your driver. Help them understand the responsibility that comes with freedom.
10. Water & a snack
You’re not going to get stuck in a blizzard, but you may be out for a long day and need some water and a little energy. Keep a pack of bottled water along with some power bars in the back near your emergency kit.
AutoShop: Go to a drive-in! Have you ever been? Jump in your teen’s car and take them to one. Maybe even let their little brother sneak into the picture by riding in the trunk..I’ve never done it, I just heard about it.
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