Safe Driving Tips for Teenagers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for American teenagers, with six teens aged 16 to 19 dying from accident-related injuries every day. In order to avoid becoming one of these statistics, you need to improve your driving skills and exercise extra caution on the road. Being a safe and careful driver is not a sure way to prevent accidents, but it can significantly reduce the risk. Here are a number of safe driving tips for teenagers.
Avoid Using Your Cell Phone
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) stated that the use of cell phone while driving is equivalent to drunk driving. This also applies to using a hands-free cell phone. More and more states are establishing laws to ban the use of cell phone and texting while driving, often with stricter laws for teen drivers.
Do Not Text
On average, texting causes a driver to take his or her focus off the road for 4.6 seconds, according to the DMV. That is enough time to drive the entire length of a football field, and a lot can go wrong during that time. It is not a good idea to text while your vehicle is stationary either, because you will not be aware of important developments occurring around you when your head is down. Texting behind the wheel, whether while driving or stopping, is banned in many states.
Follow the Speed Limit
Speeding is one of the main reasons for fatal teen accidents. When other vehicles around you are moving at a high speed, do not try to keep up with them. Instead, move to the slow lane and drive at a comfortable speed.
Obeying the speed limit can keep you safe and prevent costly traffic tickets that can raise your auto insurance premiums.
While you are having a good time cruising in your car, you may want to enjoy a drink or snack, flip the radio dial, or play your favorite music loudly. However, these distractions can make your mind and vision wander, possibly causing you to lose control of your vehicle or become unaware of impending danger. As an inexperienced driver, it is best that you get rid of all distractions when you are driving.
Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is one of the most important safety measures for teen drivers. It involves being aware of the vehicles around you and having escape routes in mind when an accident is about to occur. When you are driving at a slower speed, you should be one car length or more behind the vehicle in front of you. Keep a larger buffer zone at higher speeds.
Safe driving is worth practicing because it does not only keep you out of harm’s way; it can also help you get better auto insurance rates.