Advice for Young Drivers
Teenagers just learning to drive have the highest accident rates of any age group. Car crashes are also the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds. That’s why teen drivers typically have the highest car insurance quotes.
If you just got your first car, you’re probably stoked just to have some freedom and independence from your parents at this point. Chances are that safety and security are not your highest priorities, but maybe they deserve a little more attention. Think of all the young lives cut short by deadly car crashes every year.
Of course you want to take pleasure in the joys of driving, but a few simple tips can help you focus more on the road and avoid accidents.
- Don’t drive with passengers. Sometimes you have to take a younger sibling to school or drive a friend home after practice. We recommend limiting yourself to one passenger until you’ve had a few years’ experience. It will help you concentrate on your main responsibility: getting there safely.
- Turn down the music. It’s great to listen to your iPod or MP3 player in the car, but cranking the volume could be your last mistake. Getting carried away while singing along with your friends in the car is known as ‘driver inattention,’ and it’s one of the main causes of traffic accidents.
- Put down the cell phone. Texting and talking on cell phones while driving is extremely dangerous. Just don’t do it, and don’t let your friends do it either.
- Buy your own car insurance. Understanding how car insurance works, what coverage levels you need, and the legal and financial consequences of causing an accident might encourage you to be more careful when you’re driving.
- Go beyond driver’s education. While you probably took a local course in driver education, you’re likely to benefit from a defensive driving course as well. Not only will it help you become a better driver, but it could get you a discount on your car insurance.
- Drive with your parents. This is the only exception to the passenger limitation rule. Your driving skills are not yet perfected, and your parents can probably still give you some pointers. If this doesn’t sound like too much fun, see if you can drive Mom or Dad’s car when you’re already headed somewhere as a family. You’re going to be in the same car anyway, so you may as well be behind the wheel.
Photo via Leonid Mamchenkov