When it comes to driving, you can never be too safe. Our guide provides vital information for new teen drivers to consider before they consider hitting the road.
Understand the Risks
Learning how to drive is an exhilarating experience for teenagers. Still, it’s imperative to know the hazards you now face behind the wheel. Critical errors, such as driving above the speed limit, late-night driving, and distracted driving, account for 75% of teen driving accidents. Recognizing the risks associated with teen driving can help keep you and your friends safe.
Be Considerate of Other Drivers
Being aware of yourself and knowing good driver etiquette is essential. Don’t drive like you own the road or make assumptions about what other drivers will do. Watch out for aggressive drivers and stay out of their way. Lastly, don’t forget to always use your turn signals so that other drivers and pedestrians know what your intentions are.
An essential skill all new drivers should practice is scanning. Road scanning prepares you to react in time. It involves looking down the road ahead of you and anticipating potential hazards. Scanning techniques include occasional glances in your rearview and side-view mirrors to keep an eye on vehicles in adjacent lanes and behind you.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a hazard for drivers of all ages. Don’t talk on the phone, check texts, or be on social media while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting while driving increases a teen’s crashing risk 23 times. It takes only a few seconds of distracted driving to be the difference between life and death.
Never Drive Under the Influence
Just because you think you can handle it doesn’t mean it’s worth the risk. Call a parent, guardian, or sober friend to take you home instead. Similarly, don’t get into the car with anyone who is under the influence.
Tips for Parents of Teen Drivers
Your teen is about to start driving. It’s an exciting time for teens, and now, more than ever, they need your help. Parents and guardians play a vital role in helping teens develop safe driving habits. After spending most of their lives protecting them from all sorts of dangers both on the road and off, are you prepared to hand them the keys to the car? It’s an effort that takes time, knowledge, and lots of patience. We’ll give you a few pointers to ensure the safety of your teenager below.
Make Sure Your Car is Well-Maintained
A properly maintained car is vital for vehicle safety. Regular maintenance will help prevent unexpected breakdowns and incidents on the road.
Begin with necessary skills before progressing to more complex skills. Start driving during the day with good weather, preferably on remote roads or empty parking lots. Gradually move to evening and night driving, busier roads, and inclement weather.
Be Patient and Expect Mistakes
The only way your teen will learn is to make mistakes. As a parent, you must be positive and help minimize risk when mistakes happen. Don’t forget to praise good driving habits and accomplishments.
Set Rules and Consequences
Teens often experience a new sense of freedom when they get their license. Unfortunately, they don’t always realize the responsibilities that come with that privilege. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds parents to set rules before they let their teen hit the road alone. Follow the “5 to Drive” which includes: no cell phones, no speeding, no passengers, no driving under the influence, and no driving without a seat belt. Additionally, it’s recommended to enforce a curfew, limit the distance they can drive, and occasionally ride with your teen to monitor their driving skills.
Always Remember to Set an Example
When you’re behind the wheel, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your teen to do.
Safety Items for Teen Drivers
The last thing you want for your young driver is for them to be stranded somewhere without the tools to get home. Before letting them drive alone, make sure they have adequate safety products in their car.
Put together a car emergency kit: this should include cable ties, a flashlight, batteries, road flares, a lighter, duct tape, a bungee cord, gloves, a screwdriver, and a road safety guide. A basic first aid kit is essential for any new driver to have in their vehicle. Tire gauges are useful to have on hand, as well as a spare tire, a jack, and a lug wrench. Additional items to include for emergencies are an extra GPS, a portable external battery to charge a phone, bottled water, blankets, and food with a long shelf life.
We Care About Your Family’s Safety
No matter how much you talk with your teen about safe driving habits, an accident is not always avoidable. If your teen was involved in a car crash, you’ll need the help of a trusted Winston-Salem car accident lawyer. At Daggett Shuler, our experienced car accident attorneys are here to help. Call us toll-free at 1-800-815-5500 or fill out the form for a FREE case evaluation below.
Daggett Shuler – You Can Depend on Us.