My #FirstCarMoment involved taming The Beast!

In Cars, Lifestyle by Chris

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Michelin for this promotion. I have received compensation for my participation, but my first car memories are my own.

michelin-man-standingI have deep respect for the road and everything on it. Totaling two vehicles in my lifetime has taught me that you cannot predict road conditions or the actions of other drivers, however, we can control our own driving habits and ensure our vehicles are in proper working order. This includes being alert, ensuring regular vehicle maintenance and understanding the condition of our tires. This week I’ve partnered with Michelin to celebrate #FirstCarMoments and to raise tire safety awareness. But before I get into that, I want to share a story of “how I tamed the Beast…”

Destroying my first few cars taught me an important lesson…don’t underestimate the road.

I totaled my very first car. It was an ugly brown Oldsmobile. The accident happened quickly after receiving my driver’s license. It was my fault because I was trying to impress a girl. That didn’t work out. What a stupid, scary experience.

A photo posted by Chris Giroux (@thetalkingdad) on

My first set of wheels!

A photo posted by Chris Giroux (@thetalkingdad) on

Dirt track racing and prom!

My second car, and the basis of my #FirstCarMoment, was a small pea-green and beige Ford pickup. I called it “the Beast.” It was a fine vehicle, but kinda useless as a pickup. It was ugly as sin, but as reliable as your daddy’s old Ford. The Beast got it done. It even saved my life.

Back then, having a job was an accomplishment. I desired to perform well and impress the boss. But laws protecting children in the workplace were uncommon, or more precisely, uncommonly followed. On Saturday nights, the company would keep us late past midnight to clean store shelves. It was a long day with minimum pay, so I would also foolishly agree to “close the grill” at my second job for an extra few bucks. Coming home at 3AM was a normal weekend experience.

But one night I fell asleep at the wheel. I crossed three traffic lanes before finally waking, the Beast was slowly coasting towards the edge of an extremely high plateau. Before I could react, the vehicle bounced in and out of a large ditch, jostling my body before suddenly freezing atop solid ground. The jolts had loosened all four spark plug wires, rendering The Beast dead.

In retrospect, I suppose the Beast tamed me. I learned that driving without complete alertness is a foolish endeavor. A first car is an unforgettable milestone, but with that comes additional responsibility. You know what else is foolish? Driving with worn or improperly inflated tires. Automobile accidents are the number one killer of teens in America. Tire-related issues account for nearly 265,000 inexperienced driver accidents per year.

Michelin Tires and Talking Dad want to drive awareness in ensuring optimal tire pressure and tread depth when you hit the road this summer.

Checking your tire pressure with a pressure gauge monthly and learning the proper way to check tread depth are two easy tasks that can help you correctly maintain your tires and contribute to overall vehicle safety. Keep your babies safe and happy!

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