As soon as a child turns 13 years old they begin counting the days until they’re old enough to learn to drive. They yearn for independence and may think being able to drive will provide it. Parents want to ensure their teens remain safe.
These safety tips for teen drivers can give you the skills you need to drive more responsibly.
* Begin by buckling up before you even start the car. Always wear a seat belt and insist that everyone riding in the car wear their seat belts as well.
* Adjust the seat and mirrors before starting the car. This will enable you to drive a comfortable distance from the pedals and steering wheel. It will also ensure you can see around you clearly.
* Never drive while you’re sleepy. It’s been proven that teens need more sleep than adults and younger children – at least nine hours each night. Unfortunately, most teens only get seven hours. If you’re able to get the nine hours of sleep you need, you’ll be able to stay alert while driving.
* Most states have a ‘zero tolerance’ policy when it comes to teenage drinking. Drinking and driving is the surest way to lose your license, face heavy fines, go to jail, cause the death of others or possibly die yourself. The best way to avoid being involved in an alcohol-related accident is not to drink and drive.
* Pay attention to the speed limit when driving. Many teens feel they’re invincible and drive too fast. There are many teen accidents and fatalities each year. Speeding, alcohol use and lack of experience are contributing factors.
* Drive to be seen by other drivers. Turn on your headlights and you’ll ensure other drivers will see you. If you don’t drive with your headlights on at all time, be sure to turn them on well before natural daylight begins fading.
* Focus on driving. Many people enjoy listening to music. Turn the radio on, set the station and leave the radio buttons alone. Don’t change the stations. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
* Eating can also cause you to lose focus on driving. If you’re hungry you can always eat in your parked car or go inside to eat.
* Leave the cell phone off while driving. Talking on the phone can divert your attention from driving and you could have an accident. If you text and drive, your chances of having an accident increase dramatically. If you must use your phone, pull off to the side of the road, make your call and then hang up before getting back on the road.
* Limit the number of friends riding in the car with you. Ask them to keep their voices down so you can concentrate on driving. If they get too rowdy, tell them you can’t allow them to ride with you any longer. It may put a kink in your friendship but at least you’ll still be alive.
* Drive with the proper four-second distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Driving too close to the vehicle in front can mean you won’t have time to stop if they have to stop quickly.
Parents want to know their teen is a safe driver and can encourage them by sharing the above safety tips for teen drivers. You can also increase your teen’s driving skills by enrolling them in defensive driving classes. Help them drive safely and you’ll be able to rest a little more while they’re out.