No teenager gets behind the wheel of a car and expects to get in an accident, but on average, 8 teenagers are killed in auto accidents every day. The week of October 19th to the 24th is National Teen Driving Safety Week which provides a perfect opportunity to talk about teenagers and safe driving. The key to keeping our kids from becoming statistics is making sure they understand the dangers of driving and what they need to do to keep themselves and their passengers safe.
These safety tips can help new, inexperienced drivers benefit from the wisdom and experience of those who have been driving for a long time.
- Wear your seatbelt all the time and every time.
- Never let someone ride with you without wearing a seatbelt.
- Never take more passengers than you have seatbelts.
- Make sure the head rest in the car is properly positioned in order to protect your neck in the event of a accident.
- Follow the speed limit, excessive speed is one of the major causes of accidents where teen drivers are involved.
- Don’t react to or engage with aggressive drivers, let them pass or reduce your speed so you are away from them as this kind of driving contributes to many accidents.
- Wash the windshield regularly and check to make sure it is clean before you drive. Dirty windshields can cause serious visibility problems, especially when the sun is coming up or going down.
- Be aware of where you are on the road at all times and stay in your lane.
- When stopped at an intersection, pause when your light turns green and wait a few seconds to ensure all the cars going across your street have stopped before you pull out.
- Never react to what you think another driver is going to do; wait and react to what they actually do. This means slowing down even if someone has their turn signal on just in case they don’t turn.
- Always refill your gas tank when it hits the ¼ tank mark.
- Watch for animals in the road and next to the road, especially if you drive in rural areas. If you see an animal, slow down, flash your lights, and wait for it to go on its way. Always remember that hitting a big animal like a deer isn’t just going to hurt the deer, it can also be a serious, life-threatening accident that injures you or your passengers.
- Always, always, always check your mirror and turn to look before merging or changing lanes.
- Be aware of the cars around you so that you can react quickly if one of them does something unexpected.
- If there is something blocking your lane, wait to ensure there aren’t any other cars coming before pulling into the other lane to go around the obstruction. You do not have the right of way to pull into the other lane just because your lane is blocked.
- Use your turn signal every time you turn and make sure you turn your turn signal off if it doesn’t shut off automatically.