shutterstock 1525420685There is an increased risk of having an accident if you’re a teen, often due to a lack of driving experience or being distracted by a mobile phone. Nevertheless, a breakdown as a result of an accident (or just because the vehicle is less reliable) can cause problems when stuck on the side of the road for an extended period of time. 

Here are a few ways on how teens can prepare for a potential breakdown ahead of time. 

Mental Preparation

Due to the fact that they often drive less reliable cars, teenagers need to be prepared for unexpected things to happen, like an unexpected breakdown. This means they need to learn how to handle the situation when it occurs. 

Having a teen run through a troubleshooting session to figure out what he or she would do in the event of a car breakdown is helpful. Running through other potential life situations and how they could respond is equally good, too, as many of the same coping mechanisms are used.

It’s important to include scenarios where they either have no mobile phone service or their phone’s battery has died because this is a generation that has almost no experience with how to act when forced to go analog. 

Car Equipment

Prepping your teen’s car or SUV for potential problems such as a breakdown can help them manage the situation as smoothly as possible in order to avoid making a bad situation worse. 

This means you’ll need to make sure their vehicle is equipped with some emergency gear. In fact, all vehicles should be equipped with the following items regardless of the age of the driver. 

Jumper Cables – Jumper cables are useful for jumpstarting your engine when having battery problems. They help you leverage another vehicle’s power when its engine is running. You can’t always expect passersby to have their own set, so making sure the car your teen uses is equipped with jumper cables is essential.

Jumpstart Kit – Having a kit that has the power to jumpstart your engine is very useful. When the engine stalls out and the battery is drained, it can get the engine running even if there’s no one who’ll stop to help you out. 

Jack and Spare Tire – When a teen gets a flat tire due to a nail or some debris on the road, it’s necessary to change the tire. Without a jack, there’s no way to replace the damaged tire. It’s also worth having your teen practice how to remove a wheel and swap it out for the replacement tire because few people have any experience trying to do this until they’re in the situation. 

Personal Equipment

While the items listed above are important for getting a car working again, in order to be fully prepared, a teenager should have access to a few other items as well. Useful items include a high-powered flashlight to help them see in the dark, a blanket to prevent them from getting cold at night while waiting for assistance, and a first aid kit to deal with minor scrapes and cuts. In hot climates, ample bottled water is also essential.

Many of these are must-have items for your emergency kit, which will really save your teen if they get stuck for hours on the side of the road.

Helping your teen to understand what can happen on the road and how to protect themselves from various unfortunate situations is extremely valuable. Make sure they’re as prepared as they can be in case anything untoward happens.