Student Drivers Instructed to "Just Plug in a Portable Car Heater"!

I have a Google Alert for all portable car heater news, since I blog about automotive equipment. I saw this news story and thought it was ridiculous enough to be worth sharing. I've written before about how rough it is to find yourself--as a consumer--in the dilemma of having a broken or bypassed heater core. And how, obviously, a portable car heater is NOT a perfect solution. But it's good in a pinch--just to get you through until it's time to decide whether to fix the heater or get a new vehicle.

Well, can you imagine running a driving school and telling your students, "Hey the heater isn't working--so just defrost the windows with this handy plugin portable car heater. It's great driving experience for every teenager!" Ummmmm, not okay. I can't help but wonder, if the rearview mirror came off, whether the instructor would tell the 16-year-old student that it's excellent multi-tasking training to hold on the rearview mirror while driving.

Or maybe offering additional training modules on safe texting while driving?

Not too surprisingly, the school shut down not long after students reported back to their parents about that lame portable car heater advice.

Here's the little blurb from the news article : it's kind of funny--in a sad, shaking-my-head kind of way.

'''The cars started breaking down often, sometimes the brakes went bad, bad steering, bad tires and no heat,'' Prebynski said. ''When the manager said to buy a portable heater and plug it in the cigarette lighter to provide heat and told us the poor condition of the cars could be good experience for the drivers, I knew it was time to go.'" While I think portable car heaters are marvelous little devices, I cannot imagine allowing a new driver to go out in a car with a nonworking heater. Let alone learn to drive on a car without a working defroster.

Yike.

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