Getting behind the wheel for the first time is an exciting experience for teenagers and an anxiety-filled time for parents. It’s important that teen drivers understand the rules of the road. Here are some tips for teen drivers to help them be safe and avoid accidents.
1. Follow the speed limit
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, 37% of teen accidents are caused by speeding. The faster you go, the less time you have to stop or react to other vehicles and incidents on the road and the more likely you are to lose control of your vehicle.
2. Put down the phone
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that texting creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. In addition, 11 percent of drivers, age 18 to 20 who have been involved in an accident, admitted to texting while they crashed. It’s critical that all drivers, regardless of age, put down their phones and devote their attention to the roads and the other drivers around them.
3. Always wear your seat belt
Seat belts can reduce the risk of injury and prevent fatalities in an accident. Be sure to check that all of your passengers are buckled up, and never try to fit more people than the number of seat belts in your car. In addition to the potential injury risks, seat belt tickets are not cheap and not worth it.
4. Make sure your windshield is clean and clear
Sunlight reflecting off your dirty windshield can make it a challenge to see the road. Take advantage of the complimentary window cleaning station the next time you’re filling up at the pump. And, in the winter, be sure to clean the ice off of your entire windshield and surrounding windows – don’t just create a small area to peek through. It’s important to have a clear, 360 view of the road when you’re driving.
5. Be considerate of other drivers
You’re not the only car on the road, so be sure to keep adequate space in front and behind your vehicle. Don’t assume what another driver is going to do even if it seems obvious. They may have their signal on, but maybe they forgot to turn it off from a previous turn. And, watch out for aggressive drivers. Just try to stay out of their way.
6. Never drive intoxicated
It’s still one of the leading causes of accidents in America. Driving while drunk or on drugs is not safe for you, the passengers in the car and the other vehicles on the road. Whether it’s a designated driver or an expected phone call home to parents for a ride, you should always think ahead and have a plan in place. Don’t drink and drive.
7. Watch out for the weather
Always check what the weather is going to be like before getting on the road. Make sure you know how to drive in certain weather conditions and what precautions to take before going out. If the conditions are bad, then you should give yourself even more distance between vehicles and more room to come to a stop. Drive slow when the roads are slippery, and watch for black ice in freezing conditions.
8. Keep your car healthy
Make sure to check the tires and their pressure monthly. Improper tire pressure can result in a blown tire and you could lose control of the vehicle. Follow your vehicles manuals for the proper check-ups and guidance for oil change frequency. This will improve the longevity of your vehicle and prevent your car from breaking down when you’re on the roads – which can cause accidents.
9. Be aware of your surroundings
Always pay attention to your surroundings, especially at night time. Watch out for pedestrians and animals crossing the road. If you can, try to avoid unfamiliar roads at night. Be aware of all the vehicles around you, and know where they are on the road in relation to you. Pay attention to the road signs, and be observant of school and construction zones.
Are you about to add a teenage driver to your insurance policy, but you’re worried about the added costs? Give us a call or stop by your local office, and we’ll answer any questions you have and work with you to determine the right coverage for your needs.