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Let’s examine several situations that could prove difficult for new drivers! 

Headlight failure – It’s not common but it happens. If it does, then go slow, pull over somewhere safe and turn on your hazard lights and get help. 

The “Check Engine” light – The check engine light in a vehicle shows up when the vehicle’s CPU (computer) detects an issue with a system or component. Much of the time it’s not an emergency and you could drive home safely.  However, if you sense something that could be more important, like you smell burning smoke or substances, then pull over to the side of the road and call for roadside assistance. The Service Manager at East Hills Subaru, a full-service car dealer in Roslyn, NY, urges people who smell smoke to pull over. 

Flat tires – If a flat tire occurs, it’s a weird feeling. As soon as you think that a tire is going flat, pull over to the side of the road. If it’s a tire at the car’s front, the steering wheel will shake and the tire will make a thumping sound. When it’s a back wheel, the rear of the car may drop a little and that will cause a thumping sound, too. If you are planning to change the flat yourself, be sure you know how it’s done.  If you’re not comfortable changing the tire, then give roadside assistance a ring. 

Cops – The first occasion you see a police officer’s blue lights in your rearview mirror will always be something you remember but remain calm. Pull over to the side of the road as soon as you safely can. Then put the vehicle in “Park”, turn off your engine, roll down your window and keep your hands where the cop can see them. If the officer makes you angry, don’t argue with them but go to traffic court instead. 

An accident – If a crash happens, and you can still drive the car, turn on the flashers and pull off the road. Then call the cops – dial 911. Next step is to close your eyes and breathe for a second. Then, get out of the car and exchange information with the other drivers and witnesses. It’s always a good idea to take pictures with your phone as well.   

Road rage – When someone offends you when driving, take a deep breath and know that your anger will dissolve within a few minutes. If you’ve accidentally angered another driver, don’t get pulled into interacting with him or her. Instead, get out of there and on with your day.  

When you have a teenager who will get their license soon, you should chat with them about what having a license entails. We know you are probably really afraid of this inevitable event, but your teen getting their license will be a step closer to full independence for them. We hope this article has helped you talk to your teen about what’s important to know once they get behind the wheel all by themselves! 

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