Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in safety

Prevent Accidents Before They Happen

The time has come: your teen is now old enough to drive.

As you cautiously, almost regretfully, hand your keys over to your teenage daughter or son, you can’t help but envision potential driving obstacles. That recessed fire hydrant where it’s easy to get a ticket. That four-way stop where turning left is almost impossible. That speed trap a few miles from home.

Nevertheless, you’re prepared to help your teen master the art of driving. You take a deep breath as he or she starts the ignition and puts the car in reverse . . . only to back into your garage door.

Looks like you have your work cut out for you.

While teaching a teen to drive isn’t always easy, you can make it easier by giving your teen useful guidelines when parking in your garage. With these tips and tricks, you can help your teen park like a pro—without dinging, denting, or banging your new Toyota Sienna.

Teenager Driving Car Outside House

1. Paint Guidelines

For some new drivers, a visual representation of where to park is just what they need to park properly. To give your teen that little extra assistance, consider painting bright yellow parking guidelines in the ideal parking position in your garage. Be sure to leave a few extra inches of wiggle room around this space, just in case your teen doesn’t nail it the first few times around.

Don’t want permanent lines? Use brightly coloured electrical tape instead. When your teen masters parking, you can pull up the tape and your garage floor will look as good as new.

2. Manoeuvre with Mirrors

Mount a mirror in the front of your garage, centered above your parking space. The mirror shows how close your vehicle is to the wall, so your teen can approximate how far he or she can pull forward.

Be careful with this method, though! If your teen pulls too far forward, he or she will not only dent the car but break the mirror as well.

3. Use Pool Noodles for Cushion

If your teen tends to park too close to the side of your garage, it can be difficult to get in and out of your vehicle without scratching the car doors. Give your car a little extra cushion by cutting pool noodles in half and bolting the noodles to the side of your garage. Then use a little extra pool noodle to cover the bolt heads. The noodles will absorb the impact and protect your paint.

4. Try a Tennis Ball

Pull your vehicle into the correct position in your garage, and grab a tennis ball and some string. Tie the string to the tennis ball, and then hook it to the ceiling. Have the tennis ball dangle so it barely touches the windshield of your car.

The next time your teen pulls into your garage, all he or she has to do is aim for the tennis ball. A light tap from the tennis ball on the windshield lets your new driver know when to stop.

5. Place a Parking Stop

A parking stop works much like a tennis ball and a string, but instead of hanging it from the ceiling you place it on the floor in front of your tire. When your teen pulls forward, he or she will feel the tire gently bump into the stop.

Most parking stops are easy to install; remove the protective peel and then use the adhesive on the back to stick it to the floor. If the stop starts to come lose, apply a little Gorilla Glue and it should hold fast.

6. Mount a Laser Guiding System

For more tech-savvy teens, a laser guiding system may do the trick. This ceiling-mounted system projects a beam onto your car’s dashboard. When the beam hits the right spot on the dashboard, your teen will know exactly where to stop.

7. Upgrade Your Car

Typically it’s a good idea to let your teen use a vehicle that you don’t mind damaging. However, many car upgrades can help your teen park like a pro.

For example, some cars come with rear view cameras, which will let your teen know if any objects (such as a garage door) are behind the car.

Other features could include parking sensors, which use electromagnetic or ultrasonic sensors. These sensors emit pulses to measure distances of nearby objects. The system then warns the driver if the car is too close to potential obstacles.

8. Be Patient

Remember that driving takes a great deal of practice. You’ll need to work side by side with your teen to ensure he or she learns the rules of the road and how to manoeuvre a car correctly. These tips will help your teen park in the garage, but even so, he or she may make a mistake. Just be patient, and eventually your teen will master the basics.

If your teen happens to back into your garage, don’t panic. It’s easy to replace. Call your local garage repair technician for a quick fix.

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