Getting a license to drive is a rite of passage for many teens in the United States. Not only does this step signify increased independence, but it also presents the excitement that comes with young drivers having their first car. Taking the road by storm, however, comes with numerous precautionaries, however, that young drivers sometimes fail to understand. Here, then, are six tips for teens when traveling down the highway or making their way by car in the city.
- Say “Yes” to Seatbelts
Too many youngsters’ lives are cut short by auto accidents in which they were not wearing their safety belts. In fact, recent statistics for fatal crashes among individuals between the ages of 16 and 20 show that 60 percent of those drivers and passengers who succumbed to their injuries were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the incidents. Safety belts have the capacity to save lives.
- Stay Away from The Smartphone
Cell phones have their place, but in the car is not one of them. It is perfectly fine for teens to have their smartphones on-hand for emergencies that arise on the road. Young drivers should, however, refrain from texting or talking on the phone while operating a vehicle.
- Reduce Speeds
School and construction zones are not the only areas where slower speeds are appreciated. Young drivers should especially be meticulous about abiding by proposed speed limits since they are, technically, still learning how to skillfully operate a vehicle.
- Be Prepared For the Unexpected
An accident is not the only unfortunate thing that can happen on the road. Vehicles sometimes stall in the middle of nowhere. The best way for young drivers to handle such situation is to have emergency kits in their vehicles. A First-Aid package along with a flashlight and jumper cables should be staples in every kit.
- Try to Steer Clear of Night Driving
Statistics show that in 2010, nearly 20 percent of fatal accidents involving teenagers occurred between the hours of 9 PM and midnight. The rate jumped to 24 percent between the hours of midnight to 6 AM. It is best to limit overnight driving when you are still learning the ins and outs of the craft.
- Drive Alone
Peer pressure is especially prevalent among teenagers, and the practice does not take a day off when youngsters drive. Limiting the number of passengers in the car can effectively reduce the likelihood of young drivers feeling the need to speed up to show their friends how fast the car can go.
Parents often think that investing in the latest vehicle for their teens to drive is a waste of money. In retrospect, though, new cars have various technologies that further contribute to safety on the road. Coupling stern talks about acceptable behavior when driving with advances that automatically reduces a car’s speed could be the solution to keeping teenagers safer on the road.