03 Aug Back to School: Auto Safety and Your College Student
Whether you’re sending your son or daughter off to college this fall for the first time or they’re returning for another year, watching their taillights fade as they drive away can be an emotional moment for a parent. Before your student hits the road, take time to talk with them about auto safety and what to do in situations where you can’t be there to help.
Every driver knows the feeling of annoyance that comes when a check engine light or maintenance light comes on in their car. It’s easy to ignore these warnings or postpone getting them serviced, especially for people with busy schedules. Students often forget the importance of regular maintenance, which can lead to car trouble later on.
Remind your student to have his or her car’s engine and brakes checked regularly and to stay up-to-date on oil changes and alignments. It’s also a good idea to check their tires to ensure they are properly filled and the treads are not too worn. These simple maintenances will keep their vehicle running well and help prevent more serious issues.
Help your son or daughter locate suitable places to take their car for repairs in their college town, such as dealerships or other auto service centers. Many shops in college towns offer student discounts or provide seasonal coupons to reduce the cost of preventive maintenance. Have your student save the numbers and addresses for a few service centers in their phone for easy access when needed.
Safe driving practices
Distracted driving is dangerous for drivers, passengers and others on the road, and can occur in a variety of circumstances. From using smartphones, to adjusting music, to talking to passengers, to eating and drinking, almost any activity done behind the wheel lessens the driver’s focus on the road and other drivers. Advise your student to keep the distractions to a minimum and remain observant.
If your son or daughter is driving a long distance from home to school, ensure that they’re well rested before getting behind the wheel. Driving alone for an extended period can be boring and fatiguing, and is never safe to do when tired. Remind them not to use their phone while driving unless they have a hands-free system, and to keep their music low enough to be able to hear the sounds of other traffic such as horns and sirens.
Having friends in the car can also be distracting, especially in a crowded college town where traffic might be heavy on or near campus. Make sure your student knows to check that their passengers always wear their seatbelts, and to delegate tasks such as navigating directions or changing music to others so their focus as the driver is not compromised.
Drinking and driving
Expect an eye roll, but don’t neglect talking to your student about the dangers and consequences of drunk driving. Warn them to never get behind the wheel while intoxicated and to never accept a ride from another driver who may be drunk. Not only do these actions endanger those in the car, but also other drivers and bystanders with whom an accident may occur.
Be sure that your son or daughter knows other options for getting home after a night out, such as designating a sober driver, calling a friend who hasn’t been drinking or taking a cab. Many universities provide information for other safe ride resources in their town. Most importantly, remind your student that the repercussions associated with a DUI or accident are severe and that drinking and driving is never worth the risk.
If your student has an emergency on the road such as a breakdown or accident, it can be overwhelming and scary. The stress of responding to a situation such as these can be more manageable if your son or daughter knows what to do beforehand. Rest assured knowing they’ll be prepared to handle any circumstance with the help of Tiger Towing!
Tiger Towing is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to provide roadside assistance to drivers in and around Columbia, Missouri. Offering locksmith services, flat tire changes, towing, accident removal and more, we strive to be fast and reliable for drivers in need. Have your student save our phone number to call in case of a roadside emergency and put yourself at ease knowing they’ll be in good hands with Tiger Towing.