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Teachable Moments with Your Teen Driver: Snow, Part 2

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Last month, I gave you the key lesson for your new teen driver about driving in the snow: the awareness of knowing when to get off the road.

There are 2 more lessons about the snow that I want to share with you now.

1. When it snows, drivers must clear the snow off their car entirely.

There are several reasons why this is important, including the fact that it’s actually a law. The reason it’s a law is because snow on top of your car (including the roof) is a hazard both to you and to other drivers when it flies off.

Snow left on the windshield, windows, rear window, or side mirrors will obstruct your view. Seems pretty straightforward, right? But, you’d be surprised at how many drivers are in rush and just don’t clear off their car. Like this guy:

Car driving with snow on rear window

This here is a teachable moment.

If you see a car with snow still on it, ask your teen, “Do you think that’s safe?” or “What’s wrong with this?” Give them the chance to identify the problem.

Here’s the next lesson.

2. If you want to give your teen practice driving on snow, after it’s done falling, go to a LARGE, EMPTY, OPEN parking lot to practice.

I don’t advocate that parents take their teens out on the road while it’s actively snowing. Because of their inexperience, it’s just too risky for both them and other drivers. However, it can be helpful to give them an opportunity to drive on snow.

To create the experience so that they can learn what it feels like, after the snow is done falling (perhaps the next day) take them to a large, open, empty parking lot. The space should be free of both other vehicles and parking curbs so that there’s nothing for them to hit. Let them drive around and get a feel for how it’s different than regular driving.

One last point to remember: new drivers need to be taught these lessons. You cannot just expect your teen to know how to handle new driving situations. If you haven’t already, review these snow lessons with them now.


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