All experienced drivers know that great driving skills come in time, with hours and hours spent behind the wheel and experiencing almost every possible driving scenario, both in the city and on the freeway. You can have endless driving lessons through which you will learn the essentials, but in order to develop true driving skills, one needs experience. There’s no way around it.
However, we, at Phoenix Towing Service, decided to provide our young readers (and their parents) with some of the most crucial teen driving safety tips that every fresh driver needs to know the moment they receive the power we like to call a driver’s license. The feeling of freedom and independence that we feel once we start driving on our own is indescribable, but to any teen driver, safety should come as number one priority.
That being said, here are 5 teen driving safety tips you must never forget, regardless of the amount of experience you have up your sleeve.
1. Respect the Speed Limit
Remember: if other cars are in a hurry and are not keeping to the speed limit, it doesn’t mean that you have to keep up with them. Sticking to the speed limit is always the way to go, whether you are in a populated area or on a highway, you need to stay on the safe side and avoid speeding. Not only will this significantly reduce the risk of ending up in a serious traffic accident, but it will also help you keep pricy traffic fines at bay.
2. If You’ve Been Drinking, Take a Cab
No matter how hard or tricky the subject of alcohol (let alone drugs) can be, any responsible parent must have this talk with their young teen driver. Ignoring this issue and letting things “run their course” doesn’t mean the possibility of drunk driving will disappear.
Since even the smallest amounts of drugs and alcohol in one’s bloodstream are able to significantly alter one’s cognitive abilities and slow down reflexes, it is strongly recommended that a young driver takes an Uber or a cab if they’ve had even “just one beer.”
3. Sleep Well Before Long Trips
If you are planning longer road trips, getting enough sleep is crucial for staying alert while driving. According to recent estimates, over 14% of car accidents are caused by the driver not getting enough sleep.
If you notice the following sign while driving, it is vital to make a stop and get some rest:
- frequent yawning
- frequent blinking
- heavy eyelids
- thinking about completely unrelated topics (quite often daydreaming)
- trouble focusing on the road
- heavy head
4. Keep Your Smartphone in Your Pocket
Regardless of whether or not your state prohibits using cell phones while driving, you should always make sure your phone is being kept away from your hands whenever you are behind the wheel. Texting, Googling something or talking on the phone while driving can be immensely distracting and decrease your cognitive alertness.
Alongside speeding, using phones while driving is among the biggest causes of car crashes caused by teens, not just in America, but all across the globe. Keep your phone in your pocket, or better yet turn it off completely while you are behind the wheel. If you are about to make or receive an extremely important phone call, be sure to pull over, park somewhere safe where you are not jeopardizing other vehicles, and take the call.
If, however, you are not in the position to do so, postpone your smartphone activity for when you can make the stop.
5. Always Check Your Blind Spot When Changing Lanes
Although most vehicles have rearview and side mirrors, these devices do not cover 100% of the visible area behind you. Blind spots are sometimes so big that you can end up not seeing an entire vehicle that is driving near you.
Here’s when you should be checking your blind spot by turning your head quickly and looking over your shoulder:
- When merging
- When changing lanes
- When leaving a parking space
- When performing a three-point turn
- When pulling out from the curb
Those were our 5 most essential tips on teen driver safety. If you think we’ve failed to mention some of them, please leave a comment. For more articles like this one, visit the Phoenix Towing Service website.