When it comes to teen driving or driving at any age, safety is extremely important. Although it may be exciting to get your license and drive on your own, there can be serious consequences for ignoring safety rules. We rounded up the top ten safety tips for your teen that can help ensure they come home safe while still having fun while they’re out and about.
1. Minimise Any Distractions
It may be tempting to fiddle with the radio, drink, eat, or play your music loudly when you drive, but this can easily cause your vision or your mind to wander and lead to an accident.
2. Drive by Yourself
Yes, it may be fun to have your friends in the car. But, studies have proven that having as few as one other person in the car can increase the risk of an accident by up to five times the normal risk.
3. Drive a Safe Car
You want your car to have things like anti-lock brakes and airbags in case of an accident. It’s also important for it to have routine maintenance and checks done.
4. Obey any and all Speed Limits
Always obey the speed limit, and never feel pressured to speed up because other cars have started to pass you.
5. Practice Defensive Driving
Pay attention to the cars around you and plan a possible escape route. Don’t stay right behind the car in front of you and give it at least a full car length of space.
6. Put Your Cell Phone Away
Don’t text and drive or be on your cell phone when you’re driving. Studies show that you lose focus by texting for an average of 4.6 seconds. This is enough time to drive 75m.
7. Don’t Drink and Drive
Never drink and drive. In Australia alone, roughly 9,000 people aged 15 to 24 are killed or injured in car accidents each year, and around one-third of these accidents are alcohol-related.
8. Use Your Headlights
Even if you think it’s too light out, turn on your headlights. It helps other drivers see you, and this is especially true at dusk or in the early morning hours.
9. Hold the Steering Wheel Properly
Holding the steering wheel with your hands in the 3 and 9 o’clock position or in the 4 and 8 o’clock position will reduce your chances of your hands flying up into your face if your airbags deploy.
10. Always Wear Your Seat Belt
Buckle up every time you get in the car, and make sure your passengers do as well. Also, never try to fit more people in your car than you have seatbelts.
These ten safety tips for teens may seem like common sense, but they’re all very important. Obeying them and being careful while you’re out and about is critical to coming home safely and avoiding an accident.