The title is sort of a trick question—for many of you, the car your teen is driving is also probably the car you drive, so this post can be just as helpful for you.
When the first hint of snowfall arrives, you’ll always see news stories and blogs—including this one—talk about prepping your car for winter weather. But what about the summer? Because we associate summer with good times, sunshine and generally pleasant weather, we aren’t really focused on emergencies.
However, the summer sun can get pretty hot and if your teen’s car (or your car!) breaks down, there are some basic things your car should have. If you don’t have an emergency kit in your car, now is a perfect time to start one.
There are basics that you should have year-round, including a first aid kit, a flashlight, a toolkit and a phone charger. The National Safety Council has a great list of essentials. Our frequent guest blogger, Walt Brinker, has also talked about some other items you might not think you need until you do.
Water and non-perishable food are always on every emergency kit list, but especially in the summer months, we can’t stress enough how important it is to have water on hand. Heat related illness can be fatal—staying hydrated and having plenty of water on hand is your teen’s first line of defense. In addition to the basics, add sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and a good pair of sunglasses to the list. These items can help shield you from the sun.
On the mechanical side of things, make sure the car’s AC and engine cooling systems have been checked out and are functioning properly. Ensure that any air filters have been replaced as needed and that coolant levels are correct. If you’re vehicle’s coolant system hasn’t been flushed for a while, check your owner’s manual or maintenance log to make sure you’re up to date.
Hopefully, your teen won’t encounter any problems this summer, but it always pays to be prepared.