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.
Why Get Colorado Springs’ Private Lessons?
If you’ve driven around the city for any length of time, you have probably seen an American Driving Academy car with the words “Student Driver” on it. Since 2002, our instructors have trained 1000s of new drivers with personalized instruction and real-world practice. Many people in Colorado Springs, though, get their license without ever getting private lessons—so why is it so important? There are many reasons that all new Colorado Springs drivers should take private lessons before getting their license. Here are just a few.
You’ll Save Money
Insurance companies are understandably cautious about insuring new drivers. Teenagers are more likely to get into accidents and rack up silly speeding tickets or other traffic violations. Colorado Springs teens who take private lessons, however, can save hundreds of dollars on insurance. Insurance companies know that a teenager who has been properly trained—and who is serious enough about driving to take private lessons—is much more likely to be a responsible driver. This means lower insurance premiums and more money for college or for gas or for weekends.
You’ll Get to Drive Sooner
Colorado law currently allows for drivers as young as 14½ to begin classroom lessons, and driving lessons at 15. This means they can have their permit at 15 and full driver’s license at 16. This is only possible, though, if a new Colorado Springs driver is enrolled in private lessons like those offered by American Driving Academy.
You’ll Be a Better Driver
Becoming a driver is easy; becoming a good driver is not. Too often, teenagers have to learn the importance of safe driving the hard way. Our friendly, experienced driving instructors will ensure that you or your child will have the skills necessary to be a safe, responsible driver for life.
Learn More About Colorado Springs’ Private Lessons
American Driving Academy is Colorado Springs’ leading private lesson provider. Give us a call today to find out more about our private lessons options. There’s a plan right for your family.
What 8th Graders and Their Parents Need to Know
Many middle school parents and students have not thought much about the process of getting a driver’s license. They often associate getting a driver’s license with high school. But waiting until high school can really delay the process. The reality is that 8th grade is actually the time for parents and students to start preparing.
Time for What?
The process of getting a driver’s license is much more complicated than it was 15 or 20 years ago. Many parents are surprised or confused by the steps now necessary to get a driver’s license.
Here are the requirements to get a driver’s license in Colorado:
- Must be at least 16 years old
- Must have held an instruction permit for a minimum of 12 months (under 18)
- Logged at least 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with an instructor from a state approved driving school (under 16 ½)
- Logged at least 50 hours of driving, including at least 10 at night
- Passed a road driving test
So, it is technically possible for a teenager to get a license at 16, but he or she needs to be ahead of the game. In order to complete a driver education course, log 50 hours of driving, and have an instruction permit for at least a year, a new driver will have to have a learner’s permit at 15. To get that, he or she needs to have a driving education course at 14 ½.
This is why middle school is not too early to start thinking ahead. Many 8th graders will be 14 ½ during the course of the year, which means they could start taking driving education courses in preparation to get a permit at 15, and, ultimately, a full license at 16. If teens wait too long to get started, though, they could end up having to wait until they are 16 ½, or even later, to get a license.
A New Program for 8th Graders and Their Parents
American Driving Academy is excited to be offering an educational program for middle school parents, students, and administrators to help explain the process and the training we offer. The purpose of the Is It Time? program is to:
- create awareness
- provide some clarity
- and answer questions
This will enable parents and their teenagers can make informed choices about their driving goals.
The program is available to any middle school and can be tailored to fit the needs of the student population. Full presentations are available as well as printed handouts. Our program can also discuss safety concerns—like texting and driving—that can’t be stressed soon enough with new drivers.
If you want your middle school to get involved, please contact us right away. We’d be glad to explain the program in more detail. In addition, American Driving Academy offers a full range of driving education courses for students of all ages, including new drivers starting at age 14 ½.
If you are a parent of an eighth grader, or involved with a middle school, now is the time to start planning ahead! Give American Driving Academy a call today!