Teenage driving: Tips that will take you places.
The thrill of the freedom that driving brings also brings great responsibility. Among other things, being in control of a vehicle means paying attention, minimizing distractions, and being a good steward of the road (remembering your driving impacts other vehicles on the road). The joy of driving is truly a marker of growing up, as is making decisions and handling consequences.
Before you hit the accelerator, cover a quick checklist.
- You have insurance coverage.
- All passengers have working seat belts.
- Seatbelts firmly fastened, yours and all passengers.
- Headrest adjusted to right behind your head (not your neck).
- Rearview and side mirrors are adjusted for maximum visibility.
- All doors are securely fastened (or all body parts are in the vehicle if your vehicle doesn’t have doors – think Jeep).
- Your gas level is appropriate for the trip. If you need a refill, map out when in your trip to fill up.
- All exterior lights such as brake lights, signals, and headlights, are working properly.
On the road, practice safety first.
- Obey speed limits. Maximizing your brake time means traveling at posted speeds.
- When the light turns green, look both ways to check that traffic has cleared.
- Use signals to indicate your movement.
- Drive like you own the car, not the road.
Discuss concerns with a more experienced driver.
If you experience a tricky situation either as a driver or passenger – or even if you just hear about it – ask a more experience driver how to handle the situation to prepare for the future. Teenage driving is an exciting experience. Above all, teenage drivers should aim to become adult drivers.