Updated: May 24
Earlier this month, I introduced the topic of teachable moments as an effective strategy for helping your new teen driver internalize safe driving skills.
Today, I want to give you an example of a teachable moment that’s timely for the season: snow.
Your teachable moment comes when you’re driving and it begins to snow. Now, I don’t advocate for parents to take their new drivers out during a snowstorm to learn how to drive. If it happens to begin snowing while your teen is driving, you should recognize that this is a teachable moment. However, even if you’re the one driving, it’s still an opportunity for your teen to learn.
When it comes to snow, the key point that you want your teen to learn is the awareness of knowing when to get off the road.
If they are driving and it starts to snow, ask them questions such as, “How good is your visibility still?” “What speed are you going?” This will jumpstart their awareness. While it’s just flurries coming down, it’s good to let them practice driving still.
The time to get off the road is when the snow starts to stick to the ground. When you notice this, just ask your teenager, “Is the snow sticking to the ground?” Once they answer, then talk them through getting off the road safely. Depending on their level of comfort, you may need to pull off safely and switch drivers so you can finish driving back home.
If you’re the one driving in the car, simply talk through what you notice. Speak out loud about how it’s getting harder to see and when you start slowing your speed down.
Another key point to explain to your teen is that when it’s snowing, they should never use their high beams. The light can reflect off the snow, making it even harder to see.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!