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New driver in the family? Parents, You’re in for a whole new ride.

When my eldest daughter Devan got her driver’s license, I learned a major parenting lesson. Even though she may have completed her formal driving education, I still had a major role to play in the learning process. It wasn’t about teaching her to become an auto mechanic or anything like that, but educating her on how to maintain a car was essential to her gaining confidence as she became a better driver.

I believe 100% that changing a flat should always be included on a parent’s list of things to consider when handing the keys over. At some point, new drivers will make a mistake that ends up in a flat tire – they should know how to change it themselves. If you’re doubtful, trust me when I say that it’s absolutely safe to change a flat on your own with the right tools – that’s why they’re included with your car! (link to Tools You Need)

Let’s ensure your new driver is on track to a lifetime of safe driving. Read on to learn four reasons why it’s so important for new (and experienced) drivers to know how to change a tire:

1. You’re teaching independence

Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage in our society, a clear sign that a young adult is growing toward independence. Raising your new driver’s confidence level is one of the best things you can do for them. I taught Devan how to pump gas, refill windshield wiper fluid, know what each dashboard warning light means, check tire pressure, and how to change a flat tire.

2. Consider the alternatives

You could pay for roadside assistance, or you could be on-call as “parent-side assistance” – but realistically, you can’t always be there to change a flat for your new driver. For me, it really hit home when Devan went off to university. I pictured her stuck on her commute, late at night, unable to do anything until someone else arrived. Once I taught her how to change a tire, I felt confident that she can jump straight into action when she gets a flat, and arrive home safe – instead of worrying that something might happen while she was waiting for help.

3. Be ready for anything

Help won’t always be there – if you got a flat in an area without cell signal, you wouldn’t even be able to call for assistance. At some point, your new driver might go on a road trip and travel through remote areas. The likelihood of getting stuck somewhere isn’t as far-fetched as you’d think – navigation apps have led to drivers getting stuck in the strangest places!

It’s always a good idea to be prepared. Before you head out, especially on a long trip, pack an emergency kit in your trunk. Items such as a flashlight, jumper cables, and first-aid kit are helpful to have just in case. We created our own safety kit with essential products you need to stay safe on the road in the event of a car crash or flat tire.

4. Stop others from being stranded

Teaching your daughter or son how to change a flat doesn’t just help them when they’re driving – it empowers them to help their friends if they’re a passenger on their ride, or even help others they encounter on their travels. This story of a good samaritan helping an 80-year-old father with a flat tire is a heart-warming example.

As with driving, practice makes perfect

Be confident that your new driver can tackle a flat tire, by practicing how to change a tire at home – before they get into a situation when they’re on their own. Run them through the process a few times until they get the hang of it.

The truth is, changing a flat is a necessary skill for all drivers – are you setting a good example? If you don’t know how to change tires yourself, now’s the perfect time to learn! Follow our our step-by-step illustrated guide on how to change a tire. Try it once, and you can do it for life!