In an effort to keep teens safe behind the wheel, Big Walnut High School invited a AAA technician team to inspect students’ vehicles and discuss safe driving practices last Tuesday (April 18).
“Inexperience makes teens especially risky drivers, and often leads to deadly mistakes,” said AAA Ohio Auto Club Senior Public Relations Manager Kimberly Schwind. “Driving older, less-reliable vehicles makes teens even more susceptible to being killed in a crash, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Proper car maintenance can help reduce the risk of crashes and help prevent roadside breakdowns.”
During each roughly 15-minute vehicle inspection, AAA technicians identified potential problems with student’s vehicle belts, hoses, tires, lights, fluid levels, and batteries. Then, technicians discussed any detected problems with the student and provided an inspection sheet to take home to parents.
AAA Vehicle Inspector Gary Smith said most problems detected during the inspections are easily fixed – low oil, other low fluids, brake-light issues, tire pressure too low or too high.
As an added bonus, each student that signed up for an inspection received a free one-year AAA Classic Associate membership.
“More than 50 students signed up to have their cars inspected, and we had some walk on once we got here,” said Kellie O’Riordan, Traffic Safety Program Manager for AAA Ohio. “It’s been a beautiful day and we had a great turnout. The students were all very receptive. The one thing we noticed is there seems to be a lot more students this year that are already AAA members.”
A Dan’s Deli trailer was also on site, and each student who had a vehicle inspection received a free lunch, courtesy of AAA Ohio.
“The PR is great, and students enjoyed a Dan’s Deli lunch,” O’Riordan said. “But the inspection is really all about educating students about their cars.”
The Big Walnut High School vehicle maintenance inspection is part of a series of inspections taking place throughout AAA Ohio Auto Club’s territory this spring.
The team will be at Buckeye Valley High School on May 12.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.