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CARZ 4 GIRLZ: Holiday Driving Tips For Teens



By Ilyse Gordon & Friends

Do you have a long holiday traveling trip coming up, or are you planning on party hopping in your hometown? There will be more cars – and that means more mishaps – on the road during this busy driving time.

Recently three teens were found dead in a car parked in the infamous Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Tahoe, California, accidentally poisoned by carbon monoxide. It is assumed the girls, who were employees of Squaw, had just wanted to hang out in the warm car and watch the snow come down. What happened is the car's tailpipe was obstructed by snow, sending the odorless fumes through the heater. Was there something they could have done to prevent this? Let's learn!

Traffic is a terrible time to practice your driving skills. Traffic stresses everyone out. Let mom or dad take helm of the wheel on a long car ride to grandma's house. Unless you really enjoy getting screamed at for every little thing you do wrong on the road, of course.

Refrain from backseat driving. You don't like it when your parents do it to you. All you'll do it get one step closer to road rage by fueling the fire. If you suspect a parent is driving nutty because they had too much to drink, address the situation! Same with your pals – don't make them fret and foul up.

Tune out with an iPod. This is possibly the best way to keeping yourself in great spirits on a long car trip. If you feel your blood pressure start to rise, plug in and plug out. Remember to connect your iPod to you cars speaker system…DO NOT USE EAR BUDS! To stop from looking too rude, take ten-minute breaks to start a conversation with the family.

Beware of drunk drivers. Drunk-driving incidents occur more frequently during the holiday season. Usually random check points the police set up nabs these types. Oh – and you better be ready to defend your sobriety to officers in this situation as well.

Pack healthy snacks and water. Road food choices are pretty dismal. Plus, we eat way too much sugar and bad stuff around the holidays as is. If you stock up with apples, dried fruit, whole-wheat bagels, you won't be forced to eat Aunt Edna's terrible ham-pickle-and-marshmallow salad (what???).

Make sure you have an emergency plan. What will you do if you get stuck in the snow? How about if the battery goes dead? Or you lock your keys in the car? Or get lost? It's a good idea to have a list of phone numbers ready, from AAA to your dad's office, and a good map. Plus, how about sticking a box of matches, a blanket and bottled water in the trunk – you never know.

Know how to use four-wheel drive properly. In general, if you're borrowing your parent's car to go somewhere, you need to run through all the gadgets and gears to make sure you're comfortable. Those push-button cars like the Toyota Camry sometimes need your foot on the brake to even start …

Always check the weather forecast. Especially for the area you're headed to. Better double-check to make sure the windshield wipers work and that you can get them going in an instant if a storm suddenly hits.

Don't leave visible presents in the car. This just entices car theft. What's great about cars like the Nissan Rogue and Murano is the cargo area tonneau cover (basically, a pull shade for stuff in the back cargo area). Look here on The Auto Channel for vehicles with great new standards like these!

Park your car in an appropriately sized spot. The best way to get a ding on your parent's car is to pull the SUV into a compact space. Try parking away from the crowds.

Don't leave the car running. It is totally possible to get carbon dioxide poisoning from a running car as the incident above explains (if your exhaust is messed up – how do you know it isn't?). Plus, it just wastes gas and that is so not green. Your holidays can be safe and fun if you're willing to make a list and check it twice! Thanks for reading Carz for Girlz and The Auto Channel! More excellent auto advice to come in the New Year!

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10 Great Reasons A Girl Wants a Truck
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2008 SUV's You Parent Might Buy You!
SUV 101 - How to get your Parent to Buy You an SUV
2007 smart Car
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2005 MINI and MINI CooperS
2005 Audi tt

More to come, I promise.