With teenage drivers accounting for more auto accidents than any other age group, it is important to equip yourself or your teen so you can arrive safely at your destination. Being the “newbie” behind the wheel can be very intimidating, especially in severe road conditions like snow, ice, and fog. Here are some driving tips for your new driver.
- Driving on Icy Roads – Just don’t! New drivers with little to no experience on the roads should begin to learn techniques for safe driving on icy roads in a parking lot or somewhere with no other cars around.
- Careless Driving - Anytime you are not fully focused on the road, you are being a careless driver. It may seem cool or fun to play music loudly, eat, drink, and manage multiple electronic devices while you are cruising around town with a car full of your friends, but all this activity takes your focus off the road and can end in disaster. It also means that you can easily turn your vehicle into a weapon. The average car can weigh approximately 4,000 pounds. An impact in an accident would make this a scary realization for you, other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
- Cell Phones - It seems like a difficult task to put your smartphone away since we live on them 24/7. However, you should stay off your cell while operating a vehicle. Even with newer vehicles, that have smartphone connections that aid in keeping drivers hands-free, you truly should only use this feature for emergencies. States are enforcing strict laws regarding cell phone use and texting while driving. In some states, you could actually face stricter laws if you are a younger driver.
- Follow the Speed Limit - Every new driver gets a rush of adrenaline when first driving a vehicle, but that rush should never override your better judgment. Joy rides are fun, but speeding is dangerous, especially on unfamiliar roadways. No matter what anyone says, or any games or movies you have watched, you are taking a huge risk when driving too fast. Don’t feel pressured to keep up with fast traffic if cars are passing you. Also, don’t let backseat drivers influence your better judgment. Speeding can have serious consequences on your driving record, cause an accident that increases insurance premiums, to being fined, or even worse, costing lives.
- Driving Under the Influence - There is no excuse to ever get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Make a promise to yourself and be proactive by designating a sober driver, calling a cab or car services like Uber or Lyft.
- Choose a Safe Car – When you’re out on the roads, driving a safe car really matters. Try to find a car with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and of course, airbags. You can also look at the car's crash safety records.
With more driving time, you will gain valuable experience that only can come from being behind the wheel. There are also perks you can get from being a safe driver like cheaper insurance rates, etc. Practice these safe driving techniques and stay safe out there!