Teen drivers: how to stay out of trouble on the road?
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Learning how to drive is a great source of pride for many teens. It’s also a great way to demonstrate responsibility, and of course, it provides you with autonomy as you slowly make the transition from high school student living at home to college student living on your own.
However, driving isn’t a responsibility you should take lightly. It has the potential to injure you, your passengers, and any other drivers on the road. How you drive could also have a huge impact on your driving record, not to mention your bank account.
It’s important to stay out of trouble on the road. These tips are simple to follow, they’ll minimize your exposure to danger, and they can prevent you from receiving costly tickets from the police.
Wear a seatbelt
Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly, seatbelt use is lowest among teen drivers. However, it’s one of the quickest and easiest things you can do to stay out of trouble.
It only takes a second to put on a seat belt. When you do, you won’t have to worry about being pulled over and getting a ticket for not wearing one, but more importantly, you can reduce your chances of being severely or fatally injured in a car accident. It’s a small, simple thing you can do to protect your health, your driving record, and the money in your bank account.
Keep your phone out of reach
Driving and texting is a big deal. Studies have shown that it can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Texting and driving can result in some large fines, and it can greatly increase car insurance rates from your provider.
Not checking your phone is a rule that’s seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget when you get a text message alert or your phone starts ringing. It can be tempting to justify checking your phone because you’re stopped at a stoplight or a stop sign. But, soon you’ll be on the move again, and you’ll still be on your phone.
Instead, keep your phone out of reach by placing it in the back seat or in the trunk. If you’re using GPS, put your phone on silent so you aren’t tempted to check it.
Create rules for passengers
Your parents probably have rules for passengers in their car. Teens should have rules for passengers in their car too.
Some of those rules may be rules you have to follow because your parents asked, like limiting the number of passengers in the car. However, you should have rules of your own in the car. A few ideas include:
- Everyone has to wear a seatbelt
- Only the driver is allowed to mess with the controls, which includes the radio volume
- No fighting or yelling while the car is moving
Remember that you’re doing them a favor by giving them a ride. If they won’t follow your rules, no matter what rules you have, you don’t have to give them a ride again.
Be mindful of the speed limit
It’s important to follow the speed limit. You probably know what the speed limit is near where you live and practice driving regularly, but what if you’re driving in an unfamiliar area?
Always keep your eyes open for posted speed limit signs. If you’re having trouble finding a sign on the road, pull over and turn on Google Maps. The GPS function will not only tell you where to turn, but it also shows posted speed limits. That way, you never have to worry about getting pulled over and getting a ticket for speeding because you didn’t know the speed limit.
Absolutely no drinking and driving
Peer pressure is very real. It’s a lot easier to say yes to a drink at a party than it is to say no. Although no teen shouldn’t be drinking underage, it’s especially important not to drink and driving.
Drinking and driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do in the car. Not only can you get in a serious accident, you can face huge fines and jail time. If you do end up having a drink, get someone else to drive you home.
Driving is a huge responsibility. How you choose to drive can affect your life, it can affect the lives of your passengers, and it can affect the lives of other drivers on the road. Keep everyone safe and avoid trouble with the law with the easy tips on this list.