June 13, 2006

Teaching teenagers about poorly maintained vehicles motivates technical training

Dearborn, Michigan – A survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA) shows that teaching teenaged drivers the consequences of driving a poorly maintained vehicle is effective in motivating them to learn the technical aspects of keeping their cars and trucks in peak condition. The survey was of young people who participated in the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition between 2003 and 2005.

The respondents, who competed in the nationwide program at the junior and senior high school level, also suggested requiring automotive technology and safety classes for all students, and possibly adults as well, tied in either to driver education courses or licensing requirements. Making young drivers responsible for repair costs, and showing how much money they can save by performing their own regular maintenance, will encourage teens to take better care of their cars, the participants suggested. Those surveyed said the five most important items to check before driving were engine oil, belts and hoses, tires, exterior lighting, and windshield wipers.

Of more than 90 respondents, one-third listed parents as most influential in persuading young people to maintain their vehicles, followed by auto tech instructors and then by friends.

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