In most cases, a new teen driver is extremely excited about their new found freedom of the open road. This excitement mixed with a lack of real world driving experience can be quite dangerous. While the average teenager is going to feel that they know everything about being a good driver, the simple fact is teens account for more driving related accidents than any other age group.
This doesn’t mean you should be banned from driving. It just means you need to really focus on learning how to be a safe and responsible driver while you are gaining the experience of being behind the wheel of a car. The following are some of the best teen driving safety tips to help along your journey.
Safety tips for teen drivers
Turning Off the Cell Phone
Research studies have concluded that using a cell phone is equal to the effects of driving under the influence. This also includes the use of hands-free mobile phones. Cell phones have become a major distraction on our roads, leading to many accidents that could have been otherwise avoided by simply focusing on the road rather than a conversation.
Turn on Your Headlights
Many modern vehicles will have a feature that automatically turns on the headlights when you turn the key or when certain lighting conditions are met. If your car does not offer this feature you should turn them on manually. Even if you do not need the lights on to see the road this is a safety measure that makes you more visible to other drivers and should be practiced even during the daytime.
Obey the Speed Limit
This is common sense and every teen knows it. However, speeding causes about 40% of all fatal teen accidents. This isn’t about “knowing” a fact about the law. It’s about proving that you are responsible as an adult. When traffic is flying past you, don’t feel pressured to speed up. Just because other drivers are speeding does not mean the speed limit laws have been waived for you.
This is true for all drivers but especially teen drivers who lack driving experience. You should avoid any distractions while behind the wheel. Stopping to get a burger and fries through a drive-through is extremely common. However, trying to eat that food while driving can lead to serious accidents. You need to focus on driving and the road in front of you. When you’re unwrapping your burger, adjusting the radio or focusing on anything else inside the car, you’re not focused on safe driving.
A teen driver with another teen passenger can double your risk of being in an accident. Not only is it hard enough for you to focus on driving in the first place but now you have a passenger who lacks safe driving experience creating additional distractions. Pilots are actually required to gain experience flying solo before being allowed to transport a passenger. While these laws do not apply to driving a car, it is a safe practice that can be learned from. Until you have gained more experience behind the wheel, avoid loading the car up with friends.
Practice Defensive Driving
Always be aware of the traffic ahead, behind, and next to you, and have possible escape routes in mind. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you in slower speeds, and maintain a larger buffer zone with faster speeds.
To learn more about our safe-driving tips or car repair services, contact Meyer’s Automotive today.