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Safe Driving Tips for Teens

Safety Tips for Teen Drivers - An image of a teen holding car keys in a car.

One of the most exciting parts of becoming a teen is learning to drive. After watching your parents for 16 years, it’s finally your turn to get behind the wheel and drive yourself around.

While it’s exhilarating as a new driver, it also can be exciting for your parents to have more freedom. Instead of them toting you back and forth from school, you can finally do it yourself. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some concerns before you start driving.

That’s why we’ve created 9 easy and safe driving tips for new teenage drivers.

1)tLearn About Your Car

While getting in the driver’s seat and turning on the ignition might seem easy, why not prepare a little beforehand? We recommend picking up the owner’s manual of the car you’re about to drive to learn more about the car and its controls.

Instead of one of the car’s lights popping on with no idea what it means, you’ll have a well-founded idea and can best take care of the car and yourself. This well-planned reference guide isn’t just to sit in your car collecting dust! It was actually created with the intention of you reading it and being more informed about your vehicle, so you are aware of all its functions and features.

You might be tempted to learn on the fly, but the safest and smartest practice is to invest some time beforehand and learn basic car maintenance and how best to operate the vehicle. Another perk is that this small time commitment can save buckets of money!

2) Fix Your Driver Settings

So you’ve read the manual and now are ready to zoom out of the driveway and taste independence! Wait! Before you crank the car, get comfortable and establish a routine of checking to make sure the car is fit and ready to drive.

First, make sure you can reach the pedals without your feet being too awkwardly cramped. Second, fix your seat so you are sitting comfortably, and can operate both the accelerator and brake pedals without too much strife. Third, while you’re adjusting your seat, also make sure that the height is tailored perfectly to you.

Lastly, adjust the outside and rearview mirrors so you have the largest field of vision with the least amount of blind spots possible.

3) Don’t Text and Drive

This might seem like a no-brainer, but 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving. Learning that texting and driving don’t mix is an important concept to grasp before getting behind the wheel.

While it might seem like the perfect time to multi-task, it only takes a few seconds of looking away from the road for an accident to happen. In those few seconds whenever you’re trying to look down and send a text, you’re more prone to hurt yourself and someone else.

Reducing distractions while you’re on the road, like eating, talking on the phone, or playing loud music will help keep you focused on keeping yourself and your passengers safe. Putting your phone on Do Not Disturb mode can be helpful whenever you’re trying to cut out extra distractions. If you’re checking your phone or trying to mess with the radio, your reaction if someone slams on the brakes in front of you will be delayed.

Ultimately, keeping your eyes on the road and staying alert and aware of your surroundings at all times is the best way to stay safe and prevent any accidents.

4) Stay Aware of Speed Limits & Don’t Ride Bumpers

It might be tempting to try to race your friends or drive away as fast as possible from your parents and responsibilities, but speed limits are there for a reason.

Not only is speeding breaking the law, but it also results in countless fatalities each year. When you start speeding, you run the risk of losing complete and utter control of the vehicle and increasing the likelihood of a severe crash or collision. Instead of zooming dangerously around, think of others, and your parents, who would hate for you to be involved in an accident.

Another substantial proportion of car crashes is from rear-end collisions. Whenever you start riding someone else’s bumper with the intention of pushing them to go faster, you lose precious seconds to stop the car in case they come to a quick stop in front of you. Keep plenty of space between you and the vehicles around you.

The best rule of practice is to keep at least one car length for every 10 miles per hour you drive. You could also use the three-second rule, which is when you pick a landmark in front of you and then count how many seconds it takes for you to reach it after the car in front of you does.

5) Never Have Cruise Control On When it’s Raining

A good rule of thumb is to never have your cruise control on whenever it’s raining. While cruise control is a great function to stay at a constant speed on the highway, it’s safer to avoid using it whenever it’s raining.

Once the rain begins to fall, the roads can become slick and wet, making it difficult to stop the car quickly in case of an emergency. Instead of your wheels slipping or losing control of your car completely, stay fully in-tune and alert by turning your cruise control off and paying close attention to the cars and road ahead.

If you are skidding on the road and are unable to stop, take your feed off the pedals, stop breaking or accelerating, and quickly turn the wheel in the direction that you want to go.

6) Buckle Your Seatbelt

If you’ve successfully passed your driver’s license test, you know the importance of a seatbelt. Build a habit of putting it on before doing anything in your car. Every time you get behind the wheel, make sure you’re buckled in. Since you’re the driver, you can also say you aren’t starting the car until everyone else in the car buckles up too.

This quick and easy step may be the difference between a fatal car wreck and a minor one. Seatbelts save lives and are there for a reason.

7) Before Driving Others, Make Sure You’re Comfortable First

The temptation to drive around your friends as soon as you get your license is very real, but that doesn’t mean you should rush to do so. Instead of pushing yourself to have not only your life in your hands but their lives too, make sure that you’re comfortable behind the wheel first.

Extra people in the car mean more distractions. Try practicing by yourself a few times before adding other riders. You have your whole life to drive around friends, wait till you’re completely comfortable behind the wheel before your chauffeuring begins!

8) Stay Calm

Driving can be intimidating to anyone at times, especially a new driver. Staying calm is one of the most important aspects of driving. If you’re emotional, studies have shown that it can lead to reduced attention and distracted driving. If an accident happens or if you get lost, staying calm will be the best thing you can do. You can always pull over to get your bearings, but ultimately, staying level-headed on the road will keep you safe and sound.

9) Ask Your Parents About Car Insurance

Another important aspect of learning to drive is learning about the importance of good car insurance and the best policies to make sure you’re covered on the road.

Car insurance doesn’t have to be tricky or complicated, although a lot of companies try to make it seem so. If you’re looking for easy and affordable car insurance, GoAuto Insurance would be happy to talk you through policy options that would work best for your budget. We want to make sure that you’re safe, and have the coverage you need, without adding any extra add-ons. Call us to get a quote today at 833-700-0000 or visit our website.

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