5 to Stay Alive: Safe Driving Tips For Teens

beginner driving courseMany teens want to learn to drive as soon as they’re legally able. For many young people, obtaining a driver’s license is a true rite of passage. But while it may be an important step towards independence, teen drivers are at a much higher risk for road accidents. In their first year on the road, teens are actually nearly 10 times more likely to be involved in a crash. Beginner driving courses are ideal for becoming more comfortable behind the wheel and learning defensive driving skills that can help in tricky situations. But whether you take formal driving classes or learn from a trusted relative, you need to keep these five safety tips in mind whenever you get in the driver’s seat.

  1. Stow Your Cell
    Drivers of all ages may be tempted to text and drive. You may not think answering that message is a big deal, but studies have shown that using even a hands-free phone while driving is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Whether you’re using your phone for navigation or are chatting with a friend, doing so will keep your eyes off the road for several seconds. That might not sound like a lot, but you could drive the length of a football field in less than five “Mississippis.” A lot can happen during that time. As a general rule, stow your cell phone away for the entire trip.
  2. Slow Down
    Even though beginner driving courses will tell them differently, many teens think of speed limits as mere suggestions. They’re a regulation, not a recommendation, and they’re in place for a reason. When teen drivers speed, they’re much more likely to get into an accident. This is especially true if you’re a relatively inexperienced driver traveling along a busy highway or an unfamiliar route. Be sure to obey all speed signs, but in inclement weather or other questionable conditions, don’t hesitate to slow down. The bottom line is if you don’t feel safe, don’t feel pressured to go faster than you should.
  3. Don’t Play Chauffeur
    When you finally get your license, you may want nothing more than to pick up your friends and head out on the town. But having just one additional teen in the car can actually double your risk of getting into an accident. Add more friends, and the situation can become even more dire. Distracted driving comes in many forms, and when you’re less experienced, you’re more likely to be less observant and lose control of your vehicle. As a general rule, you should drive alone until you’ve had a lot more practice.
  4. Keep a Safe Distance
    First of all, you should never tailgate other drivers. This passive-aggressive move will likely just end up hurting you in the end when a driver stops short. If a car is going well under the speed limit, safely merge into the passing lane and go on by. In ideal driving conditions, there should be a two-second gap between your car and the vehicle ahead of you. But if someone is tailgating you, don’t be intimidated. Remember that no one owns the road. As long as you are traveling the speed limit, there’s one thing you should do: ignore this driver’s behavior. Don’t be bullied into traveling at an unsafe speed or making impulsive decisions behind the wheel.
  5. Practice Makes Perfect
    Ultimately, the way to increase your skills and confidence on the road is to practice driving. A beginner driving course can do wonders in this way, especially if you have anxiety about driving and need some one-on-one instruction. Once you attend beginner driving school and spend more time behind the wheel, you’ll be amazed by how much more assured you are. But remember that getting too cocky can also be a problem. Driving is a big responsibility with many dangers. If you become arrogant, you could easily make a risky decision that could culminate in a crash. The more experience you gain, the more informed your choices will be.

If you want to become a better, more confident driver, our beginner driving courses can help you accomplish your goals. For more information, please contact Driving Arizona today.

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