You may feel excited at the chance to get behind the wheel, but it’s normal to feel a little anxious about driving too. That’s why you should use the tips below to stay safe on the road.
- Always use your seatbelt, even if you’re just going for a short drive down the block—it’s the law!
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Remember that prescription medications can impact your driving too.
- Avoid driving at night if you don’t have much experience behind the wheel.
- Watch the forecast to avoid any inclement weather.
- Always try to stay at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. This can help give you more reaction time in the event of an emergency.
- If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe on the road, pull over somewhere safe.
- Never use your cellphone in your car.
It’s easy to get distracted on the road, especially when you first get your license. Don’t drive with more than one other person in your car until you feel more comfortable behind the wheel—this will help you to stay focused on the road and the traffic around you.
While there may be little you can do to control another person’s driving, you can certainly control your own distractions. To minimize your risks while driving, avoid the following:
- Talking on a cellphone or texting
- Touching up makeup or hair in the rearview mirror
- Tending to smoking materials
- Adjusting the radio
- Reading directions or operating a GPS
While many drivers’ attention may be diverted as a result of multi-tasking behind the wheel, nothing tops the cellphone as a driver distraction. Many drivers use their cellphones to catch up with friends and loved ones, or to simply squeeze more “productive” time into their day. Cellphone use is especially dangerous because drivers typically cannot divide their attention between the road and their conversation or text. Even if you use a hands-free device, you risk being distracted and inattentive.
It May Be Against the Law
Many states have laws outlawing the use of cellphones and texting while driving. To avoid a ticket and a potentially dangerous accident, do not use your cellphone in any capacity while driving. If you must make a phone call or text, pull off the road safely and then do so. No message is more important than saving someone’s life.
In addition to avoiding distractions, give driving your full attention by driving defensively to minimize your risk of an auto accident. Driving defensively means being aware of the movement of drivers around you and making adjustments to your driving accordingly.
- Download the Marshall & Sterling App for Step-By-Step Accident Assistance and more on your iPhone or Android phone.
- Teen Driver Laws by State
- Teen-Parent Driving Agreement Printable
- What To Do in the Event of a Car Accident
- Rules for Teen Drivers on the Job
This is for informational purposes only and is not intended as professional advice. © 2008, 2013, 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.