As a teen who just got a license, it’s understandable you’re chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel and drive. You know the statistics, you’ve gone to the classes and you’re all set to drive. But it’s important to realize that teen drivers are the most likely demographic to have an accident. According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to stay safe on the roadways.
- Get into the right frame of mind about driving: Many teen auto accidents result from attitude and maturity rather than lack of knowledge or skills. Make a pact with yourself that you will practice a responsible attitude about driving. Remember, you’re in control of more than 3,000 pounds of speeding metal; you owe it to yourself, other drivers and your passengers to make every effort to drive responsibly.
- Get as much practice as possible: While your parents should take an active role in your driving practice, things can get busy day to day. Create a schedule with them and adhere to it.
- ALWAYS wear your seat belt: Good habits start early. You should always wear a safety belt whenever you are in a vehicle, whether you’re the driver or the passenger.
- Refrain from drinking and drug use: Remember, underage drinking and drug use is illegal. Even with just one drink or joint, a chemical effect occurs in the brain that impairs reaction time. If you are caught, you could lose your license at best or your life at worst. See Above the Influence for more information.
- Limit the number of passengers you have: The risk of a fatal crash goes up with every additional person you have in your car. Limiting passengers will reduce the chances of distraction.
- Limit night driving: Did you know the risk of a fatal crash is three times higher at night than it is in the day time? Until you are extremely comfortable driving at night, it’s best to stick to daytime driving.
- Keep it slow and safe: High volumes of fast-moving traffic can make even the most experienced driver feel uncomfortable. Avoid areas like the highways until you have enough experience to be able to navigate stressful situations, such as merging onto a busy freeway.
- Avoid poor weather conditions: This isn’t always possible of course, but if you can, avoid driving in bad weather conditions unsupervised until you feel more comfortable.
- Cell phones are for emergency use only while driving: Your cell phone should only be used in emergencies when driving, and even then, you should be pulled over in a safe spot to use it.
- Drive a safe vehicle: No matter which vehicle you choose, it should have solid safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offers some vehicle and safety test advisories. Part of driving a safe vehicle involves keeping up with regular maintenance and tune ups.
Contact Hance’s Uptown Collision Center
For that, contact us for an appointment at 214-666-5291. We have been serving Dallas and surrounding areas with collision repair and auto body repair for 60 years.