Statistically, teenaged drivers have the most accidents out of any age group. There are a number of different things that account for this, from inexperience to distractions to other factors.
While no one can eliminate risk factors entirely, teens can educate themselves on safe driving habits. Parents, too, can teach their teens how to drive in a way that will increase their own safety as well as that of other drivers on the road.
The following are some driving safety tips for teens that will come in handy as they begin to drive:
It may seem like taking your eyes off the road for a second to change a CD or send a text message is harmless, but being distracted is a large reason for many of the accidents that teens are involved in. The following are some things that should be avoided while driving:
•Cell phones. If you must talk on your cell phone, pull over to the side of the road or wait until your car is parked to make a call. In the very least, use a hands-free device. Texting while driving should absolutely be avoided. You may want to check your state laws as well, since it is illegal in some states for teens to talk on the phone and drive.
•Food. This can be distracting as well, especially if you spill something and take your eyes off the road to try and clean it. Try not to eat in your car. You’ll be able to pay better attention to the road, and it will stay cleaner, too!
•Make-up. Tilting the mirror to apply mascara, lipstick, or anything else while you are driving is hazardous and should never be done.
•Friends. If you give your friends rides, chances are they can get loud and distracting while you drive. Encourage your friends not to do anything that could distract you from your driving.
Always wear your seatbelt.
Approximately 63% of people killed in car accidents weren’t wearing seatbelts, even though seatbelts are the most effective way to protect yourself in a crash. When driving, you should always wear your seatbelt and make sure your passengers are doing so as well. Keep in mind also that in most states, you can be ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt.
Obey the speed limit.
While it can be tempting to drive fast, it’s important to obey the speed limit. Driving at high speeds is very dangerous to you as well as your passengers and the other drivers on the road. Make sure you obey posted speed limits; it is very easy to lose control of your car while driving at high speeds.
Don’t drive aggressively.
Make sure you don’t tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, pass from the wrong side of the road, or speed up to pass people on the road. Not only are these types of behaviors dangerous, but you never know when you’re going to anger the wrong person, and you could end up the victim of someone’s road rage. If someone is tailgating you, don’t slam on your brakes; instead, move over and let them pass you. By not driving aggressively, you will lower your chances of being ticketed or getting in an accident.
Cars are not toys, and it’s important that you drive safely at all times by obeying road rules and avoiding distractions while driving.