Besides preparing them for harder classes, balancing their time, and living on their own, you should also gently remind them how to take care of that car, that will provide some freedom to get away from classes and campus from time to time. Here are some gentle reminders for your college student to keep in mind, to ensure their safety while driving away from home.
- Check fluids, oil, windshield washer fluid, etc. Some fluids, like oil, need to be changed regularly, and can easily be forgotten if a schedule isn't set. Other fluids, like windshield washer fluid can simply run out, and not noticed until it's needed most. If your child isn't sure how to check fluids, always recommend that they take the vehicle in to a credible repair shop regularly to have it checked.
- Keep gas in the tank. Don't wait until the "empty" light comes on. It's a good rule of thumb to always put gas in a vehicle when it's half full.
- Learn how to drive in different seasonal conditions. Your child might be attending school in a climate different from what he/she is used to. Can you picture a California kid attending school here in the Rocky Mountains and driving in snow for the first time? Even if your child is comfortable in driving in the snow, do they know how to drive in the rain or fog?
- Remind your son/daughter if they are drinking, to never drink and drive. Call a friend or a cab to come pick them up. Always remember safety first.
- Follow the laws. College towns usually have a ton of pedestrians. Help educate them to speed limits, parking, and pedestrian laws.
- Road Side Assistant Programs. It might be a good idea to enroll your child in a road side assistant program, such as AAA. You may not be able to get to your child immediately in case of an emergency, and it will bring peace of mind, to know that your son/daughter won't be waiting on the side of the road until you can.
Exciting times are ahead for your children. We hope they will have a safe an enjoyable college experience, and these tips will help them get off on the right start.