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Driving Tips for Teen Drivers
For many teenagers, one of the most awaited moments in their life is probably the day they become licensed to drive. And with more power comes more responsibility. Well, you get the drift.
With the fall semester just getting started, it’s a good time to brush up on some of the most important safe driving practices, especially for teenagers who may be driving for the first time, and parents of all teenage drivers.
For Teenage Drivers…
Always buckle up. As the car’s most basic safety feature, strapping on your seatbelt before stepping on the gas should be regarded as part of the driving process. With your seatbelt on, your risk for serious injury during an accident is considerably reduced. And this applies not just to you, the driver, but for all your passengers too.
Focus on driving and avoid any kind of distraction. This includes eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio, talking nonstop with other passengers, putting on makeup, fixing your hair, and of course, texting or talking on your cell phone. Driving requires 100% concentration because an accident can happen in that split second when you take your eyes off the road.
Never drink and drive. A teenager’s carefree attitude combined with the effects of alcohol can have deadly consequences when on the road. So can the influence of drugs. So don’t drink alcohol or do drugs, not just because you’ll be driving, but simply because it won’t do you any good.
Drive slowly. Teenagers are naturally aggressive and impulsive, which makes them inclined to drive a bit too fast. Even in daylight and in good weather, fast driving makes one more prone to accidents. And without enough experience to know how to adjust to traffic and other road conditions, young drivers should constantly be reminded to stay below the speed limit for a safer driving experience.
Watch out for school buses and pedestrians. Because it’s school season, it is to be expected that there’ll be lots of kids everywhere. So before getting out of the parking lot, and while driving near school zones, parks and playgrounds, make sure there aren’t any children around your car. Be especially careful when you’re backing up. And, be extremely mindful of pedestrians, particularly children who tend to be unpredictable and go off in unexpected directions. Don’t ever overtake a car that has stopped for pedestrians or a school bus that’s loading or unloading. Never block a crosswalk when you have to stop at a red light. And always stop when you see a stop sign, whether it’s the traffic light that tells you to, or a crossing guard holding up a stop sign.
For Parents of Teenage Drivers…
Enforce strict driving rules. Be specific with privileges and consequences so it’s clear what your young drivers are allowed to do and what’s going to happen if they break the rules. Write everything down if you have to. Additionally, it is also advisable to set a curfew. As much as possible, don’t allow teenagers to drive between 9 pm to 6 am. Aside from the fact that driving in the dark is more dangerous than driving when there’s natural daylight, driving while tired, sleepy or drowsy is always more risky, no matter how young or old you are.
Choose a safe car and maintain it well. Opt for a model that provides the best safety features, even if it means you’ll be spending a little or maybe a bit more for it. It’s saving money vs. keeping your child safe. Your child’s safety is worth the premium.
Encourage smart driving. School season means more traffic. So instead of being forced to drive faster to avoid being late, encourage your teens to leave earlier and map out alternative routes.
Practice what you preach. Your teenager has passed driver’s ed and is now licensed to drive. He/she is supposed to know what the traffic rules are. And when you’re the one driving, you have to show that you yourself are obeying all the traffic rules. Don’t speed, don’t tailgate, stop when you see a red light, signal when you turn, stay on your lane, be patient and never give in to road rage. Showing how careful you are as a driver will make it easier to give driving advice and increase the likelihood that your child will heed your advice and imitate your behavior.
Accidents Happen; Come to Big Sky Collision Center
Remember, the road is for everyone’s use. If everyone respects the rules of the road, everyone will be safer for it. And we can all look forward to a great school year ahead. But accidents do still happen, and that is why we are here. Bring your dents to Big Sky Collision Center and we can get your car restored to its full safety.
Did you know we also do auto detailing here in Billings? Give us a call at 406-259-6328 to schedule a time to have your car, or your teenager’s car, cleaned up!