As a teenager, getting your drivers license is a thrilling experience. It makes you feel older and provides you with a sense of independence. Picking out your first car can be one of the most memorable experiences, and driving away by yourself for the first time gives you a rush you’ve never before felt.
As a teenage driver, you have recently passed the driving test, so you know most rules of the road. While some of the following tips reiterate what you’ve already learned, you’ll also find a few tips that you didn’t know.
1. Wear your seat belt.
This does not mean on occasion—it means always. Seat belts save lives, and it’s important that you, and anyone else in your vehicle, are always buckled up.
2. Drive the speed limit.
While you may be tempted to speed, especially if it seems that other cars are flying passed you, don’t. The speed limits are posted to keep you and other drivers safe. If you go over the speed limit, you have less time to react to things happening on the road, such as an accident or when the car in front of you quickly stops.
3. Have a clean windshield.
When the sun rises and sets, the light that reflects off a dirty windshield can eliminate your vision or blind you momentarily.
4. Drive with a full tank.
As a general rule of thumb, always fill up your gas tank when you find yourself with a quarter of a tank left. This way, you will never find yourself stranded on the side of the road out of gas.
5. Don’t drink and drive.
Though you legally shouldn’t be consuming alcohol until you’re 21, you should never get behind the wheel of a car after you’ve been drinking—no matter how sober you think you are. Not only could you end up getting a ticket (and possible jail time) if pulled over, but you could also end up severely injuring (or even killing) yourself or someone else if you were to get in an accident. Call a parent or a taxi for a ride home, and never accept a ride from someone else who has been drinking.
6. Don’t text/make phone calls and drive.
Teens today are obsessed with your phones. Whatever you do, never reach for your phone to read or answer a text or talk on the phone while you’re behind the wheel. Not only is it illegal in some cities, but the small distraction could make you have an accident. If you must, use apps designated to keep you from texting while driving, such as DriveSafe.ly or Otter, or simply turn your phone off.
7. Make sure you have insurance.
Car insurance protects you if you get into an accident. If you don’t want to pay thousands of dollars to fix a damaged car, you need auto insurance. Most often, you can easily be added to your parent’s insurance, but you can also opt to purchase your own. If you want to shop around, make sure to compare prices at multiple insurance providers to ensure you are getting the best deal.
By following these tips, you will be a more prepared driver. Just remember to always keep your focus on the road.
Ashley Gordon is a writer. She enjoys writing about driving, driving safety, and statistics. Ashley enjoys cruising around in her Nissan Car in her spare time.