Learning to drive is a rite of passage for many teenagers. Receiving a driver’s license is an exciting time for a teenager. For parents, having a teen driver leads to constant worrying about their safety while on the road.
In the United States, according to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) more than 2,000 teenagers under the age of 19 were killed while operating a motor vehicle. Along with deaths, personal injuries due to accidents are at an alarming rate. With the emergency room personal injury statistics reaching over the 240,000 mark, teen safety tips for driving a motor vehicle are a must. As parents or guardians, you naturally want to do everything you can to ensure your teenager’s safety.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 9% of all 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes.
Basic Vehicle Safety Tips
As adults, automatically following the basic safety tips for operating a motor vehicle tends to come without much thought to the process. However, for teenagers the driving experience is brand new and exciting. With extensive preparation, you can help keep your teen driver stay safe.
At some point, you will not be in the vehicle with your teen driver. Repeating and reviewing the basic safety tips for operating a motor vehicle while riding with them is critical to ensuring your teen’s well-being. Below are some tips that need to be made clear for teen drivers:
- Upon getting into the vehicle, adjust mirrors to ensure a proper view around the vehicle.
- Move the driver’s seat to a comfortable position to reach the pedals without any problems.
- Adjust the head and arm rest for a comfortable driving experience.
- Properly secure your safety belt. Ensure all passengers in the car are wearing their seat-belts throughout the entire ride. Without proper restraints, your teen driver and passengers could receive extensive injuries in a motor vehicle accident.
- Check the gas tank to ensure a proper amount of fuel is there for the planned destination. Running out of fuel can create a hazardous situation if your teen is stranded on the side of the road.
- Remember to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times.
Basic Road Rules To Follow
Along with the safety procedures for the vehicle, alert your teenager to always follow the basic rules of the road.
- Follow the posted speed limits, excessive speeds create accidents.
- Allow for safe distance between your vehicle and others on the road.
- Do not tailgate another driver.
- Stop fully at intersections.
- Before proceeding at a green light, ensure oncoming vehicles are stopping.
- Always signal when turning.
- Avoid pulling out in front of other vehicles.
- Always use windshield wipers during rainy weather.
- Turn headlights to ensure correct viewing distance with inclement weather and evening driving.
- Be aware of changing weather conditions.
- Operating a motor vehicle requires extensive knowledge of road rules, signs, procedures, and bill of sale.
- Remembering the road rule basics will help keep your teen driver safe.
Personal Safety Tips For Teens
Going over the rules of driving a motor vehicle is only one step in the process. As a parent, you will need to go over personal safety tips to keep your teen focused while operating a motor vehicle. Personal distractions can create an accident in an instant. Some practical things your teen can also do are:
- Turn off the cell phone.
- Never text while driving.
- Do not eat or drink while driving.
- Never drink alcohol and drive.
- Keep the radio on one channel. Tuning the radio to a different station is distracting.
- Keep the music level down.
- If you require corrective lenses, wear them at all times.
- Avoid dark sunglasses.
- Do not use the mirror for personal hygiene while traveling down the road
Instilling constant vigilance will help keep your teen driver safe at all times. When your teen driver is aware of their surroundings, both inside and outside of the vehicle, the risk of accidents is greatly reduced.
Invite your teen to take a quiz, get tips and sign a contract to drive safe by visiting this distracted driving guide.
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Guest post: Evan M. Levow, Esq. is an award-winning New Jersey DWI defense attorney at Levow DWI Law who has been successfully representing drivers arrested on DWI charges in New Jersey for decades. In addition to his dedication to representing his clients, Evan is also committed to giving back by helping educate drivers throughout the country about DUI laws and safe driving practices.
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