It's a fact. Teenage drivers account for more auto accidents than any other age group.
So, if you're a teen driver, does that mean you should just stay home all the time? Take public transportation? Beg an older driver to take you to your destination?
Not necessarily. By practicing these safe driving techniques?such as driving defensively?you'll increase the odds you'll keep yourself safe on the road.
Safety Tips for Teen Drivers
Whether you're just getting ready to hit the road or have been driving for months?or even years?now, take some time to review these eight safe driving tips.
1) Keep Your Cell Phone Off
Multiple studies indicate using a cell phone while driving is the equivalent of driving drunk?that's even when using a hands-free phone. Besides, your state may prohibit the use of cell phones while driving. Many do for drivers of certain ages.
2) Don't Text
Research shows texting?on average?causes a loss of focus on the road for five seconds. A lot can go wrong in those five seconds.
Don't try the "texting-while-stopped" approach, either, as many states ban texting while behind the wheel. And, when you have your head down, you won't notice key developments that may occur, even when you're stuck at a red light.
3) Turn on Your Headlights
Doing so can increase your visibility and help other drivers see you, even on sunny days.
4) Obey the Speed Limit
Speeding causes about 40% of all fatal teen accidents. That's especially true when driving on roads with lots of traffic or you're not familiar with.
Don't feel pressured to keep up with traffic if it seems like everyone else is flying by you. Driving a safe speed helps ensure your well-being, and keeps you away from costly traffic tickets that can cause a sharp hike in your auto insurance premiums.
5) Minimize Distractions
It may be tempting to eat, drink, flip around the radio dial, or play music loudly while you're cruising around town; however, all can cause your mind or vision to wander, even for a few seconds. And, that can be enough for an inexperienced driver to lose control of your car, or not notice an obstacle in the road.
6) Drive Solo
Having a single teen passenger in your car can double the risk of causing a car accident. Adding additional teen passengers causes the risk to escalate.
7) Practice Defensive Driving
Always be aware of the traffic ahead, behind, and next to you, and have possible escape routes in mind. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you in slower speeds, and maintain a larger buffer zone with faster speeds.
8) Choose a Safe Car
If possible, drive a safe car with the latest safety equipment (such as anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and air bags), and one with an excellent crash safety record.
Final Word: Teens Becoming Safe Drivers
There's no substitute for driving experience and the wisdom that age brings, but by applying the above tips you'll enhance the odds you won't become a teenage driver